Smokers left to pick up court fine tabs after dropping cigarette ends in Sunderland city centre
Four smokers who dropped cigarette ends in Sunderland city centre have been fined in a crackdown on littering.
Sunderland City Council say they had all ignored reminders about fixed penalty notices served on them for dropping a cigarette end and then walking away.
Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers witnessed the defendants littering and issued each a penalty notice for £150.
But when this was not paid, despite several reminder letters sent to them, the council took the cases through further legal proceedings.
The four failed to attend hearings at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and the cases, which all relate to incidents at the end of last year, were proved in their absence.
Each was issued with a £220 fine and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and additional costs of £235.
*Samantha Davison, 29, of Lichfield Road, Southwick, following an incident in Crowtree Road on November 4
*Jessica Talbot, 22, of Front Street, Sherburn Hill, Durham, relating to litter dropped in Crowtree Road on October 15
*Caroline Johnson, 50, of Topaz Street, Seaham, after a cigarette end was dropped outside Heron Food Store on Southwick Green on October 4
*Leoni Simpson, 28, of Esdale, Ryhope, when she littered on September 14 outside Marks and Spencer in High Street West.
The Echo runs the Clean Streets campaign, which encourages residents and businesses to make the city a greener and cleaner place to be.
The council’s deputy leader Councillor Claire Rowntree, said: "We feel that the fines issued in court today send a very strong message to residents: We will not tolerate careless and thoughtless littering in our city centre or neighbourhoods.
"We are continuing to take enforcement action against people we catch dropping litter, including cigarettes. Those found to be littering our city will face a penalty notice and could end up in court."
The four people involved in these cases are the latest to be up in court for littering offences as the council continues to take tougher enforcement action against those dropping rubbish.
Anyone who witnesses incidents of littering or fly-tipping can report them to the council via https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/report-litter.