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Council cracks down on litter louts in Inverness. (09/05/07)
The Highland Council is actively pursuing people who drop litter in the centre of Inverness in a campaign to keep the Capital of the Highlands clean and tidy.
People who carelessly discard litter in any open place are committing a criminal offence under the Environment Protection Act 1990,
Throwing litter from vehicles onto public land is also a littering offence under section 87 of the same act. The term “litter” includes: wrappers, cans, bottles or packaging, food remains, receipts and tickets, sweet wrappings, chewing gum and all smoking related materials”.
In Inverness, The Highland Council has officers who have been given the powers to issue fixed penalty notices and they are patrolling all the streets within Inverness City Centre supported by Northern Constabulary.
Lorna Jackson, The Highland Council’s Community Works Officer said: “We have lately received a lot of criticism about litter on our streets which includes discarded cigarette ends, fast food packaging, broken glass and chewing gum in the City Centre which we find very difficult to clean. We will be patrolling this area over the coming weeks so that people get the message that they are actually breaking the law by throwing their litter away – even cigarette ends.
“We have the full support of Northern Constabulary in this initiative and CCTV cameras are being used as back up to support the crack down. Offenders should be aware that if they are stopped by a Highland Council authorised officer they will receive a fixed penalty notice of £50. If fixed penalty notices are not paid within 28 days then the fine doubles and if they don’t pay after that then the Procurator Fiscal is notified when fines can increase sunstantially.
“We are also trying to raise awareness among the public that it is their Council Tax contributions that are being used to clear up other peoples’ rubbish. If people didn’t throw rubbish in the street, the Council would be able to concentrate its efforts in other ways.
“We are taking this action in response to the many complaints we have received from the public about litter, especially since the introduction of the smoking ban in enclosed public spaces.”
Stefan Krause, BID Co-ordinator from Inverness City Centre Management said: “I am fully supportive of every new initiative which will assist to get our city clean. I would like to see that our customers, visitors and guests remember Inverness as a thriving and welcoming city with local people who are proud to live in this fantastic place on earth by taking care of their environment – perhaps a little bit more than in other cities, so that we would have a real chance to become Britain’s cleanest city in 2007.”
The Highland Council will be rolling the litter crack-down campaign out to other parts of Inverness as particular problem areas are identified. Other areas that the Council are focussing on are dog fouling, fly tipping and identifying those responsible for the abandoning of vehicles – all of which are finable offences. In the next few weeks the Council will also be installing six new butt and gum boxes on lamp stands around the city to assist the public with disposal of both their chewing gum and cigarette butts.