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£150 fine for littering in first prosecution by Civil Enforcement

Cornwall has had its first prosecution for littering since Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) had their powers expanded from traffic offences. 

On 4 August 2020 at Truro Magistrates Court, Cornwall Council successfully prosecuted Mr Ian Pears of Axminster, Devon for littering in Princes Street, Truro.

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The incident took place at 10.15am on 9 October 2020 when Mr Pears threw a Parking Charge Notice he had received for parking in a restricted area onto the ground.

The incident was captured by the Civil Enforcement Officer’s body-worn camera. The officer felt it necessary to activate his body-worn camera due to the level of abuse being directed at him by Mr Pears.

The footage was then passed on to the Council’s Community Protection Team. On receipt of the evidence a fixed penalty of £150 was issued to Mr Pears which would have allowed him the opportunity to discharge his liability for the offence. Mr Pears refused to pay the fixed penalty amount and therefore the matter was pass by Cornwall Council to the Magistrates Court for their consideration.

He was summoned to attend court on 4 August 2020, but did not attend despite indicating to the court back in June that he would. The Court decided the case in his absence and found him guilty of a littering offence. 

Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “The Council is pleased with the outcome of this case. Over the past 18 months the civil parking enforcement team have been working closely with colleagues in Community Protection to train Civil Enforcement Officers in helping to tackle environmental crime in our communities.”

“This action represents the first court prosecution since our new approach, although CEOs have issued many fixed penalties either through witnessing offences or serving them themselves. More than 20 CEOs have now been trained and authorised to serve fixed penalty notices for environmental offences such as littering and dog fouling. Additional work with Town and Parish Councils has also increased Cornwall’s enforcement capacity, which should act as a deterrent to those thinking of dropping litter or not picking up after their dogs. It also puts down a marker that verbal abuse of our staff will not be tolerated.”