FPNs will be issued in a fair and proportional manner, so those who are spoiling the environment for others are made accountable.
Littering is an offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The act states that an offence is committed if anything is dropped, thrown, left or deposited that causes defacement, in any place open to the air that the public has access to with or without payment.
This includes any deposit on land or water and the statutory definition of litter specifically includes cigarette butts and chewing gum.
When issuing FPNs for littering, a distinction will be made between intentional littering and accidental littering:
- intentional: for example, litter is dropped and the offender walks away, including the discarding of cigarettes
- accidental: for example, something falls out of someone’s pocket
Where littering is considered to be accidental (with no intent to drop litter) an FPN will not be issued.
Littering from vehicles
Littering from vehicles is an offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
As with general littering, littering from vehicles is a nuisance and harms the environment. Vehicle owners are responsible for making sure whoever is travelling in their vehicle does not litter from the vehicle.
FPNs for littering from vehicles will be issued to registered vehicle owners when the person who littered cannot be identified. In cases where the registered vehicle owner is fined, the FPN must be issued within 35 days of the alleged offence.
Spitting, urinating and defecating
FPNs for spitting, urinating and defecating are issued under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Spitting, urinating and defecating in public places are anti-social habits and can have several health implications. An FPN will be issued when spitting, urinating or defecating occurs on public surfaces, roads, pavements or streets.
Dog fouling, dogs on leads, dogs on lead by direction and dogs in dog exclusion zones
FPNs for Dog Control Order offences are issued under section 68 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Dog control offences have an impact on the city and the communities within it. FPNs for dog control offences will be issued to enforce responsible dog ownership and reduce the issues relating to dogs running loose and causing a nuisance to others, as well as reduce the potential health implications associated with dog fouling.
The Fouling of Land by Dogs Order makes it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to remove faeces from the land. The Dogs on Leads Order makes it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to ensure that a dog is kept on a lead on relevant land.
The Dogs on Lead by Direction Order makes it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to fail to put that dog on a lead under the direction of an authorised officer on relevant land.
The Dog Exclusion Order makes it an offence for a person in charge of a dog to permit the dog to enter or remain on any land to which the order applies. The land to which this order applies is detailed in section 14.
Assistant dogs are exempt from Dog Control Orders.
FPNs for graffiti are issued under section 43 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
Graffiti is classed as criminal damage and defined as any informal or illegal marks, drawings or paintings that have been deliberately made by anyone on any physical element in the outdoor environment. Graffiti is difficult and costly to remove.
Before issuing an FPN for graffiti, the Environmental Enforcement Officer will speak to the owner of the building to ascertain whether permission has been granted to graffiti the physical element question.
City Environment will work with the Safer Communities Team to ensure that enforcement action does not impact any legally created graffiti art and does not contradict the Graffiti Reduction Strategy.
FPNs, CPW and CPNs for fly posting are issued under section 43 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
Fly posting is putting up posters or stickers on properties, lamp posts, telephone boxes or other structures on the street without consent from the owner.
Examples of this are:
- sticking posters onto boarded-up shops advertising an event
- attaching a poster to a lamp post advertising a business
- putting stickers onto road signs showing political statements
An FPN will be issued to the individual who was seen flyposting by an authorised Environmental Enforcement officer.
Upon obtaining evidence of illegal fly posting, an authorised Environmental Enforcement Officer will issue a CPW to an individual aged 16 or over, business or organisation as per Section 7 below.
FPNs for unauthorised flyering are issued under section 94b of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Flyering can cause lots of litter and Brighton & Hove City Council restricts where and when free flyers can be distributed. This includes printed materials to advertise things like events, businesses or product promotions.
Anyone wishing to distribute free printed material within a designated area must apply for a flyering licence from the council. The flyering licence covers the cost of the extra work required to clear the additional litter generated as some people will just drop flyers on the floor.
Any person distributing material by or on behalf of a charity or for political or religious purposes is exempt from this rule. To reduce confusion, the council encourages charities to make an application. There will not be a charge for the licence in these cases.
FPNs for flyering without a licence will be issued to the individual and not the organisation they are distributing flyers for. One fine will be issued to each person distributing the flyers, regardless if a group is distributing the same flyers.
Flyering materials will be confiscated until the owners of the materials have arranged for a flyering licence.
Find out when you'll need a licence and how to apply for a flyering licence.
Household waste bins and boxes
FPNs for household waste bin and box (receptacle) offences are issued under section 46A of the Environmental Protection Act.
A household can cause harm to the local environment by not following the rules relating to household waste bins and boxes (receptacles). This includes:
- when it causes, or is likely to cause a nuisance, or
- when it has a negative effect or is likely to have a negative effect on local amenities
Enforcement action will be taken when:
- the household has adequate private outside storage space, and the receptacle(s) is not stored within it
- the receptacle(s) is causing an obstruction, such as forcing pedestrians and those using wheelchairs or buggies to walk on the road, and there is adequate storage space on the property
- the receptacle(s) restricts access to the pavement or street, for example leaving receptacles out for several days, including bags of waste
- the receptacle(s) is likely to attract vermin like foxes and rats, such as leaving bags or open receptacles out days before a waste collection
- the receptacle(s) is unsightly (torn bags or overturned receptacles are left out)
Enforcement action will not be taken if:
- the receptacle(s) is on the pavement/highway as it has been presented for collection – both before and after (and considering people returning from work to be able to return to their adequate private outside storage space)
- the household is unable to return the receptacle (s) to their adequate private outside storage space due to a Protected Characteristic
- the household does not have adequate private outside storage space for the receptacle(s)
- the receptacle(s) has been left out due to non-collection
Adequate private outside storage space includes:
- an outside area including the front garden, driveway, front patio area, and back garden (accessible without needing to take the receptacle through the house)
- a front patio area over a small lip/step
- space available if taken up three steps or fewer
Upon receiving a report of a household waste bin or box (receptacle) causing a nuisance, and which meets the criteria, an authorised Environmental Enforcement Officer will:
- Send a written warning, explaining how the householder has broken the rules, how this has (or is likely) to cause a nuisance or have a negative effect on local amenities, what they must do, how long they’ve got to fix the problem and what will happen if they don’t comply within 28 days
- If the householder does not comply, a notice of intent will be sent, telling the householder they may get a Fixed Penalty Notice, the reasons why and how much they’ll have to pay if they do not fix the problem
- If the problem is not fixed after 28 days, a final notice will be issued, along with the Fixed Penalty Notice
Industrial and commercial bin offences
FPNs for receptacle offences are issued under sections 47 and 47ZA Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Businesses have a duty to ensure that their waste is stored, presented and disposed of in accordance with the waste Duty of Care. FPNs will be issued when the waste is likely to cause a nuisance or be detrimental to the amenities of the locality. This includes:
- Bins in time-banding zones (T-Zones) left on the pavement outside of agreed collection times (from 1 April 2022)
- Bins blocking the highway
- Bins with size, construction or maintenance issues
Businesses are also expected to label their waste receptacle with their business name. Failure to comply with a request to place a label on a receptacle could result in an FPN being issued.
More information about businesses’ waste management responsibilities.
FPNs for flytipping are issued under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Flytipping is the illegal dumping of waste, items or materials. This includes anything from putting a TV on the pavement to dumping a van's contents in the countryside.
Flytipping is unattractive, can cause obstructions and can lead to a build-up of other waste.
Flytipping includes putting:
- items, including furniture, electrical items and appliances on the public highway or private land, and on the pavement for others to pick up and reuse
- items including furniture, electrical items and appliances by communal refuse or recycling bins, wheelie bins, refuse areas, bring sites or litter bins - if a bin is full, items should be taken to the next nearest bin or taken home until there is capacity in a bin
- refuse into communal recycling bins
- bulky items in refuse or recycling bins
If someone else flytips an individual’s waste, the individual may still be held responsible.
Any company carrying or disposing of waste must have a waste carriers licence. You can check they have this through the Environment Agency's waste carrier's public register.
Unwanted items, such as electrical items, furniture, appliances and so on cannot be collected with normal household refuse and must be reused, recycled or disposed of in a legal and safe way.
- keep the goods on an individual’s property and advertise through signs, newspapers or websites
- use a company or charity that collects items for free
- take items to a household waste recycling site
- use the council’s bulky waste collection service for a fee
Disposing of commercial waste illegally
FPNs for disposing of commercial waste illegally are issued under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Any waste that comes from a commercial activity is business waste. This includes waste produced as a result of an individual running their business from home.
Businesses cannot use domestic waste and recycling bins, and the collection of commercial waste is not covered by business rates.
Businesses are responsible for:
- all recycling and refuse they create
- making sure waste is stored and disposed of in a safe and legal way
- using a registered waste contractor or a business waste site to dispose of their waste
- avoiding any disruption to the public when storing and disposing of their waste
Any business found to be not adhering to these responsibilities may be issued with an FPN.
Failure to produce a waste transfer note or duty of care certificate or non-compliance with the certificate
FPNs for failure to produce a waste transfer note or duty of care certificate or noncompliance with the certificate are issued under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Businesses must have a registered waste carrier to collect and dispose of their waste. Businesses that have set up a waste collection with a registered waste contractor will receive a duty of care certificate. This is proof that there are waste collection arrangements in place and it is being disposed of legally.
If a registered waste contractor does not supply a duty of care certificate, it may mean they're not registered. If this waste is then subsequently dumped or disposed of illegally, the business could be held responsible. For this reason, it is recommended that businesses check the waste contractor through the Environment Agency's waste carrier's public register.
If an Environmental Enforcement Officer requests a copy of a business’s duty of care certificate and the business is unable to provide one, the business will be given 14 days to produce a duty of care certificate before an FPN is issued.
Environmental Enforcement Officers do regular checks across the city to make sure businesses have a duty of care certificate. If a business does not have a legal method for disposing of waste, the business could receive a fine which could lead to prosecution.
Businesses have a duty to ensure that their waste is stored, presented and disposed of in accordance with the waste duty of care. FPNs will be issued when the waste is likely to cause a nuisance or have a negative impact on the amenities of the area, including overflowing bins meaning lids cannot be closed or side waste.
FPNs for engine idling are issued under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 and Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Idling, or leaving an engine running whilst the vehicle is stationary, emits vehicle fumes which damage both health and the local environment. Tackling engine idling through the use of FPNs will help reduce pollution across Brighton & Hove.
An FPN will be issued to the driver of a car witnessed idling on the city’s highways.
Miscellaneous temporary advertisements
FPNs for miscellaneous temporary advertisements are issued under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. Under the regulations, following the completion of a sale or the grant of a tenancy, the advertising boards should be removed within 14 days.
Redundant “sold” and “let” boards are regularly discarded across the city, making the city look untidy and creating clean-up costs.
Upon obtaining evidence that a board has remained in situ for longer than 14 days, an authorised Environmental Enforcement Officer will make contact with the relevant estate agent, letting agent or managing agent to notify them that they will be issued with an FPN. The FPN will be issued directly to the relevant estate agent, letting agent or managing agent, not an employee.
Failure to comply with a PSPO
PSPOs are designed to counter unreasonable and persistent behaviour that affects the quality of life of residents. A PSPO can be made on reasonable grounds that 2 conditions are met:
The first condition is that:
- Activities carried on in a public place have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, or
- It is likely that activities will be carried on in a public place within that area and that they will have such an effect
The second condition is that the effect, or likely effect, of the activities:
- Is, or is likely to be, of a persistent or continuing nature,
- Is, or is likely to be, such as to make the activities unreasonable, and
- Justifies the restrictions imposed by the notice
The use of single-use disposable barbecues and the release of lanterns and balloons outdoors has a detrimental effect on the quality of life, as well as problems for people, the environment and the council:
- single-use disposable barbecues pose a significant fire risk when in use and if not disposed of correctly; there have been many times when they have caused bins and the surrounding area to catch fire
- single-use disposable barbecues present a risk to injury to people and animals, particularly on the beach and in open spaces
- if not set up correctly, single-use disposable barbecues can scorch and damage the environment around them
- when not disposed of it means the taxpayer has to pay for the tidy-up of single-use disposable barbecues
- lanterns and balloons are impossible to dispose of in a safe way as the owner has no way of finding it once released; for lanterns, there is no way of ensuring it is extinguished before reaching the ground
- both lanterns and balloons return to the ground or sea as litter and can be ingested by animals, birds and marine wildlife, causing risk of death, injury and entrapment
Together, this does not only incur environmental costs but brings additional and substantive costs to the council to clear up.
At its meeting on 15 March 2022, the Environment, Transport & Sustainability agreed FPNs may be issued to anyone found:
- using a single-use disposable barbecue in or on council-owned parks, open spaces and the seafront
- releasing lanterns or balloons in or on council-owned parks, open spaces and the seafront
Anyone failing to comply with a PSPO may be issued with an FPN of £100.