Cleaner streets across the borough is something we all want to see – which is why Ealing Council continues to take tough action against the irresponsible minority caught littering and spitting. Litter looks awful, it’s a public health hazard, and it can cost the council a lot of money to clean it up.
The council successfully prosecuted all 633 individuals it took to court last year.
Nabeel Ahmed, Tomas Vaitiekus and Kevin Dias are enforcement officers who work for the council’s contractor Kingdom Security, and they patrol the streets daily to keep them clean.
Nabeel explains: “When we see someone drop any form of litter we approach them. Once they have moved away and leave their litter on the ground they are in the wrong and should expect to be fined.
“When we spot an offence we turn our camera on and proceed. We explain who we are before highlighting the offence they have committed. We then ask for ID and retrieve their details before issuing the fine.”
Those caught are initially issued with an fine of £80. Those who fail to pay are referred to the council’s legal team for prosecution, as Tomas explains: “We are always happy to explain the process and answer any questions that people may have. My advice is always to pay the fine quickly to avoid further action.
“Once you are given a fine you have two weeks to pay. After that it’s a final reminder, then you are facing court and a criminal record and a fine of up to £2,500”.
“It doesn’t matter what you drop or where you are, those who litter will be fined”, as Kevin explains: “People should know that we have a zero tolerance policy on dropping litter here in Ealing, as it looks bad, is a public health hazard, and it can cost money to clear up.
“That includes dropping things such as cans and tissues. Many of the items we see being dropped are recyclable. There are plenty of public bins that offer recycling so there’s no excuse.
“We patrol across the borough – everywhere such as stations and shopping areas to quieter residential streets, parking lots and housing estates.
“Saying you didn’t know is no excuse and once we make people aware of our zero tolerance policy I am sure they will be aware to deal with their litter correctly in future.”
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “Everyone has a part to play in helping to keep our streets clean and there is no excuse for dropping litter or cigarette butts, or spitting on the street.
“For most, receiving an £80 fine is exactly the wake-up call they need to stop selfish and dirty habits that lead to litter being dropped on our streets and the public health and amenity problems that come with that litter. The fact that most fines are paid quickly and without dispute shows that most litterers accept they were in the wrong.
“I am happy to see more than 600 individuals prosecuted last year for littering offences and so far in 2018 we’re seeing an average of almost 200 fines issued by Kingdom officers across the borough per week. It shows that we are prepared to use our full legal powers to keep the streets clean for the benefit of local residents.
“A simple fine can escalate into a criminal record and a fine of hundreds of pounds. It’s much easier to simply put it in the bin in the first place.”
Find out how many prosecutions there have been for littering offences last month here.