More smokers fined for littering
Two smokers have been left with court bills of nearly £500 each because of their cigarette litter.
They had been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £150 for the offence of littering but failed to pay the penalty charge despite reminder letters. Therefore the matters were referred for legal proceedings and cases have been heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
Neither defendant attended court and the cases were found proven in their absence.
The first incident was witnessed in the bus station of the Galleries Shopping Centre, Washington, in June this year. The defendant was fined £220, ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £34 and costs of £235.
The second incident was witnessed in Castletown's Ethel Terrace, in March this year. The defendant was fined £220, ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £34 and costs of £235.
Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "The vast majority of city residents and visitors manage to dispose of their waste and litter both legally and properly.
"Unfortunately, there is a minority who do not do this and they run the risk of Fixed Penalty Notices for littering and court action if they ignore their notices and warning letters.
"Councillors regularly receive complaints about littering and, as in previous weeks, these fines send out a very strong message that smoking can be a very expensive habit if you don't stub your cigarettes out in an ashtray.
"People want and expect a clean city and so we are prepared to take action against a minority who can't dispose of their litter properly.
"Because these people ignored the Penalty Notice for littering, legal action followed and, as can be seen from the fines, the courts take these matters seriously."
In the last two years, more than 300 people have received Fixed Penalty Notices for littering in Sunderland.
If you witness incidents of littering or fly-tipping, this can be reported to the council at https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/report-litter