Litter: Convictions

Justice written question – answered on 13th October 2011.

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Photo of Mike Weatherley Mike Weatherley Conservative, Hove

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) how many convictions there have been for the offence of depositing litter in each year since 2007;

(2) how many convictions there have been for throwing litter from motor vehicles in each year since 2001.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

The number of defendants found guilty at all courts for littering offences in England and Wales from 2007 to 2010 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.

Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database does not contain information about the circumstances behind each case, beyond the description provided in the statute under which proceedings are brought. It is therefore not possible to separately identify convictions that resulted from throwing litter from motor vehicles.

Court proceedings data for 2011 are planned for publication in the spring of 2012.

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for littering offences, England and Wales, 2007 to 2010 (1,2)
Offence description Statute 2007 2008 (3) 2009 2010
Littering Environmental Protection Act 1990, s.87, 93, 94, 94(8)(9) as substituted by Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, s.21 2,304 2,715 3,489 3,573
(1) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

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Peter Silverman
Posted on 14 Oct 2011 2:24 pm (Report this annotation)

These figures would not include Fixed Penalty Notice fines for littering as they only go to court if they are not paid.

35,000 FPNs were issued in the UK in 2008/09

Due to the cuts DEFRA no longer collect stats on FPNs. These are the most up to date figures.

For more information on how to combat litter and litter legislation please go to

Peter Silverman