Justice written question – answered on 17th December 2012.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were (a) charged, (b) prosecuted and (c) convicted for dropping litter in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for littering offences in England and Wales, from 2009-10 to 2010-11 by financial year, can be viewed in the following table.

Charging data are not collected by the Ministry of Justice.

Annual court proceedings data for 2012 are planned for publication in May 2013.

Persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for littering offences (1) , England and Wales, by financial year 2009-11 (2, 3)
  2009-10 2010-11
Proceeded against 4,784 4,796
Found guilty 3,758 3,777
(1) An offence under s. 87, 93, 94, 94(8)(9) Environmental Protection Act 1990, as substituted by s. 21 Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. (2) The figures given relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one 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. (3) 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. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice.

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Peter Silverman
Posted on 18 Dec 2012 10:46 am (Report this annotation)

The figures are made up of those defendants who chose not to pay their on-the-spot fines. Most on-the-spot fines would have been paid to take advantage of a reduced charge and to avoid an appearance in court with the concomitant risk of receiving a criminal record.

Just undrer 64,000 on-the-spot fines for littering were issued in 2011/12 by English Councils

The top Council was the LB of Newham

Peter Silverman