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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Litter fine plan in doubt
A litter bin
Police are demanding 500 to back litter patrols
A plan to issue litter louts in Birmingham with on-the-spot fines of 50 hangs in the balance.

The scheme is being discussed by councillors on Friday but demands by police for payment of up to 500 to enforce the fines could jeopardize the idea.

An experiment in May saw five people fined, with two more cautioned, for allegedly dropping litter in Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre.

At first the police provided back up free of charge but have now given notice they will charge 50 an hour for a minimum of five hours for the two officers required.

Crucial presence

David Lowe, an environmental health officer with the council, says the role of the police will be crucial in backing up the campaign.

"They managed to get the attention of the people, made them stop at the scene then get their name and address.

"This enabled us to served the fixed penalty notices.

"In future occasions it may cost the city council to have the police present."

Police powers

The maximum fine for dropping litter on the highway is 2,500.

Council officers have powers to issue fines under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

However, only the police can demand names and addresses of offenders, or arrest those refusing to co-operate.


Click here to go to BBC Birmingham Online
See also:

12 Jun 02 | Scotland
20 May 02 | Politics
30 Nov 01 | England
15 Sep 01 | UK
01 Aug 01 | Politics
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