Litter: Community Orders and Fixed Penalties

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th March 2021.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has for (a) penalty reforms and (b) community punishments in response to increases in littering.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Littering is a criminal offence, with a maximum penalty on conviction of a fine of up to £2,500, although most enforcement is carried out by local authorities using fixed penalties.

Following consultation, with effect from April 2018, we increased the maximum fixed penalty for littering from £80 to £150, and from April 2019, the minimum fixed penalty was also raised from £50 to £65. We have also given councils in England (outside London) new civil penalty powers to tackle littering from vehicles. We have no plans to make further changes to the level of fixed penalties or fines for littering at this stage.

Community Payback is the work carried out by offenders who have an unpaid work requirement as part of a community sentence. This can already include activities involving clearing litter.

It is often recommended that those found guilty of littering should be required to participate in litter‑picking. However, community sentences are only available for imprisonable offences and are therefore not available for littering offences.

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