Birmingham City Council collects over half a million from fines over dropped cigarette butts

Birmingham City Council has collected £600,000 of fines for dropped cigarette butts within a year.

Between May 2021 and May 2022, a total of 4,426 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were handed out to people caught dropping cigarettes and other smoking-related materials.

This makes up more than 98% of FPNs issued for littering, with just 84 fines being issued for other types of litter.

Only one FPN was issued by the council during this period for dog fouling.

Animal Welfare Enforcement issued a further two fines for dog fouling over the year, the penalty for which is £100.

Credit: PA Images

Birmingham City Council's website states that a fixed penalty of £150 can be issued by the council to someone who is caught littering on the spot. This can include incidents of dropped chewing gum, cigarette butts, and other smoking-related materials.

The amount will not be reduced even if the fine is paid within 14 days and the only way to appeal is to take the matter to court. Failure to pay an FPN for littering will result in legal action and could land the offender with costs of up to £2,500.

In 2017/18, the average fine issued by the Courts in Birmingham relating to littering was £344.89. Last year, local litterers hauled to court were largely handed fines of £220.

In September 2021, ten people from across the West Midlands were fined £220 on the same day at Birmingham Magistrates Court for 'throwing down, leaving or otherwise depositing litter, namely a cigarette'.

The new data comes as a plan to raise the legal smoking age to 21 and place new taxes on tobacco companies was proposed in a review commissioned by Health Secretary Sajid Javid and carried out by Javed Khan, the former chief executive of kids charity Barnardo's.

The UK has set a target to cut smokers to just 5% of the population by 2030.