The Highland Council and Northern Constabulary joined ranks today (Thursday 7 June) to take part in a Litter Day of Action to highlight the blight littering has on the environment and to crack down on people caught discarding their rubbish irresponsibly.
The day started with a visit to Millburn Academy in Inverness to talk to pupils about their views on littering and discuss ways of working together to promote the anti-litter message. The officers then moved into the city centre to undertake a zero tolerance patrol.
The Litter Day of Action, co-ordinated by the country’s leading charity for the environment, Keep Scotland Beautiful, aims to raise the profile of litter enforcement, stressing to the public that dropping litter is a crime.
Inspector David Ogilvie, said: "Littering has long been the subject of concern to residents of the Northern Constabulary force area, featuring at or near to the top of a number of community consultation surveys as an issue concerning the public. It is an unnecessary drain on public resources because people have it in their power to dispose of litter in an acceptable way utilising the many litter bins provided by local authorities.
"The Force strives to work with the community of the Highlands and Islands and respond to their concerns and this is no different. The message is simple, dispose of litter responsibly and make our communities better places to live."
The Highland Council’s Chairman of TEC Services, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “Our Education and Enforcement team work closely with schools and the local communities throughout the year to highlight the negative effects littering has on everyone so it was good to involve young people in this national campaign day. With the summer tourist season now underway, we want to make sure people visiting the Highlands get a good impression. The day also gives us the opportunity to stress that littering is anti-social behaviour and we will continue working in partnership with Northern Constabulary to tackle issues which adversely affect communities.”
Despite 66% of the Scottish public being aware that a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £50 could be issued to those caught in the act, and 11,126 Fixed Penalty Notices being handed out in 2010/11, many people still do not know of anyone who has been fined. So, local authorities and police officers across Scotland, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, will be out in force on Thursday 7th June, issuing FPNs to anyone they see dropping litter, flytipping, or not picking up after their dog.
Chief Executive at Keep Scotland Beautiful, Derek Robertson, said, “This is the fifth Litter Day of Action to be held in Scotland, and we applaud the joined-up approach to raising the profile of litter enforcement. Unfortunately 46% of people surveyed recently admitted to still dropping litter but, with a combined approach of education, providing more bins, and the Litter Day of Action highlighting that you can and will get fined, our aim is to turn the tide on litter-dropping habits.”