Anger as Dungannon litterer on private property risks criminal record

Litter crackdown in Dungannon
Litter crackdown in Dungannon

Dungannon Council’s tough new crackdown on littering has resulted in a resident being confronted by enforcement officers and fined for dropping litter on private property.

The resident was told their actions were illegal and was handed a fixed penalty notice.

The offender now faces a maximum £1,000 fine and a possible criminal record should they appeal the penalty.

In a new wave of deterrents, council staff have been ordered to increase their litter control duties, while parks and waste management staff have also been tasked with gathering evidence and handing out fixed penalty notices.

The zero-tolerance measures were revealed at a meeting of the council’s Strategic Service Delivery Committee.

However, the heavy-handed approach has drawn criticism from a councillor who suggested that litter officers should focus primarily on monitoring public sites and council-owned areas.

The representative had been contacted by the aggrieved local resident charged with dropping the litter on private ground.

In response to the criticism, the council’s Acting Director of Environmental Services said that it was an offence to drop litter anywhere in the open air unless you have been authorised to do so.

The chamber said the council should be taking a borough-wide zero tolerance stance on litter offences on both public and private ground.

In the past, the council had been criticised for issuing very few fixed penalties for littering.