Environmental offences for litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling

Under current laws, it is illegal for people to litter our streets and open spaces. Anyone who does so is committing an environmental offence which is criminal, not civil, in nature.

For more information please read our environmental enforcement framework (PDF 308KB) which gives details on the laws, legislation, each offence and the actions we take. 

Environmental offences

People caught dropping or throwing away litter, or flytipping will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN):

Offence Penalty Early payment Pay
Littering £75 £55 (if paid within 10 days)  Pay
Littering from vehicles £75 £55 (if paid within 10 days)  Pay
Dog fouling £75 N/A  Pay
Graffiti £75 N/A  Pay
Fly-posting £75 N/A  Pay
Unauthorised flyering £75 N/A  Pay
Industrial and commercial waste receptacle offence  £110 N/A  Pay
Fly-tipping £300 N/A  Pay
Disposing of commercial waste illegally  £300 N/A  Pay
Failure of businesses, no matter how large or small, to produce a waste transfer note  £300 N/A  Pay

As well as paying online above, you can also pay on the phone (24 hours a day, seven days a week) using debit or credit card by calling 01273 292929.

Fines are set in line with government guidance.

Receiving a fine

Under the law, our Environmental Enforcement Officers have the powers to ask for and take personal details from people known to have committed an offence. They also have the powers to issue FPNs on-the-spot.

Officers will never ask for or take money from someone, but will issue an FPN 'ticket'.

Giving your details to enforcement officers

People must give their full name and address to the Enforcement Officer if they're caught committing an environmental offence. Officers will verify an individual’s identify using electronic ID verification systems. 

It is a criminal offence to refuse to give this information under Section 8(a) of the Environmental Protection Act. The maximum penalty for not providing this information is £1,000 and a criminal conviction.

Offenders who don’t pay the fine

Anyone failing, or refusing, to pay the FPN will see their case progressing to the local Magistrate’s Court. The maximum penalty on conviction is £2,500, a criminal conviction and any associated costs.

Issuing fines to young people

Children younger than 10 years old can’t be issued with a fixed penalty notice, however we expect the parent or carer to pick the litter up and dispose of it properly.

What information we keep about the fines

We keep records of:

  • all FPNs, from issuing to payment or prosecution
  • evidence if the case has to go to court.

Read our privacy notice for more information on how we store and process personal information.

Environmental Enforcement Officers

Officers are fully trained and dressed in blue jackets and black trousers, and wear body cameras. Like the police, our officers wear and use body cameras to gather evidence and identify offenders, but also for the protection of themselves and the public.

The officers will always follow government guidelines to ensure all fines are issued responsibly. The officers are not paid incentives or commission for issuing fines, and do not have daily, weekly or monthly targets. 

Legal powers

Fines are issued under the Environment Protection Act 1990, the Cleaner Neighbourhoods Environment Act 2005 and the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Officers are legally entitled to enter commercial properties to deal with offences under these criminal acts.

Cost of enforcement

The service will run at no cost to the local taxpayer. It is totally funded by the fixed penalty fines. Under government guidelines, we are not allowed to use the enforcement as a revenue generator. 

If any surplus is generated by the scheme it will be re-invested into improvements in the refuse and recycling service for the benefit of our communities.