Smokers in Kent could face fines for dropping cigarette butts
Smokers in Tonbridge and Malling could face fines for dropping cigarette butts as part of a pilot scheme.
Specialist teams will start patrolling towns and villages from next week to spot people dropping rubbish on the street.
People who are caught dropping litter, including cigarette stubs, could face a fixed penalty of up to £150.
The penalties that can be imposed are:
Littering: £150 reducing to £100 if paid within 10 days
Dog fouling: £80 reducing to £50 if paid within 10 days
Fly tipping: £400
Other waste offences: £300
Enforcement teams will hand out portable ashtrays and dog poo bags to try and discourage people from littering.
There will also be support for school education projects and sponsored litter picks will be provided.
Cllr Piers Montague, lead cabinet member for waste and technical services, said: "Some people may think it’s unfair to get a fine for dropping a cigarette end but it’s contributing to our litter problem and to the costs of cleaning it up that we all pay for through our council tax.
"Cigarette ends also contain a range of toxins and are harmful to wildlife.
"So whether it’s cigarette butts, food wrappers or fly tipping, those who choose not to dispose of their rubbish responsibly shouldn’t be surprised to get a fixed penalty.
"By taking a tough line on litter while also providing educational initiatives, I believe this pilot scheme has great potential to reduce the amount of waste on our streets and keep our borough looking its best."