Published: 00:00, 06 February 2015
| Updated: 10:26, 06 February 2015
More than £1,000 of fines have been issued to litter bugs in the first few days of a council crackdown.
In the first two days of litter enforcement by Gravesham council’s new contractors, Kingdom, 15 fines for a total of £1,125 have been issued.
Officers did not have to go far to issue the first fine on Wednesday morning. Within a few paces of the Civic Centre entrance they caught a woman discarding a cigarette end on Community Square – just yards from two bins with ashtrays. She was given a £75 fixed penalty notice.
Among the other fines so far was a man fined for spitting a seed onto the street and several other smokers were caught – even though there are many new ashtrays and bins in the town centre.
Gravesham council decided to get tough to combat the growing problem blighting the town.
The initiative will see two officers on a trial period patrolling five days a week.
When news of the scheme was announced last year, council leader Cllr John Burden warned people they faced on-the-spot penalties for dirtying the streets.
He said: “If people insist on not being good community citizens and throw rubbish on the ground they will pay a fine. It’s as simple as that and we will take them to court.”
The new litter cops have the power to fine people £75 for littering and dog fouling.
However, if the offender is under the age of 18 they will be let off the first time, with a letter sent to their parent or guardian.
The council is also considering leasing 28 solar-powered bins, which self-compact rubbish and send an email when they need emptying. That will be discussed by full council on Tuesday, February 24.