Fixed Penalty Notice FAQs

There is no formal right to appeal against a fixed penalty notice (FPN).

However, under the EPA 1990 s34ZA (FPN’s for failure in Duty of Care with respects to waste) which is the householders duty to of care to ensure waste is only transferred to a authorised person or to a person for authorised transport purposes there is a right to make representation (appeal/dispute) to the authority about the allegations contained in the notice’. This is as a result of the incumbent fine being greater than that of a littering offence.

Not withstanding this and with specific regard to the Leach scenario, where a recipient of an FPN for a littering offence believes the Notice is unreasonably issued as a result of an exemption to the legislation, it would be reasonable to accept representations directly to the authority so as to minimise any distress or anxiety caused to the individual along with preventing the courts time being taken up by an unnecessary appeal.

If you do not agree that you committed the offence then the matter will be dealt with through formal prosecution via the Magistrates courts. It will then be up to the court, on receiving evidence, to determine whether or not an offence was committed and therefore whether or not any penalty should be imposed. Alleged offenders must be aware that environmental offences are Criminal in nature and should a prosecution be proven at the Magistrates' Court, the verdict will be recorded as criminal conviction against the defendant. This is not Civil Law.

The following are not acceptable reasons for dropping litter or failing to pick up dog mess:

I wasn't given a warning

Council’s in the UK spend around £1 billion each year to clear litter and many have chosen to take a Zero-Tolerance Policy when it comes to tackling the issue.

There wasn’t a bin nearby

It is not feasible for councils to put bins on every street. If there isn’t a bin or ash tray nearby you should hold on to your litter or dog mess bag until you come to a bin, or take it home with you. If you have a question regarding bins in your local area then you will need to contact your Local Council.

I dropped chewing gum or a cigarette butt

Litter includes cigarette butts and chewing gum. In many ways these items are more of a nuisance and more expensive to clean up than other items of rubbish. People are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in a bin.

I picked it up after the enforcement officer approached me

If you pick up the litter or dog mess after an enforcement officer has approached you, you will still receive a fixed penalty notice. The offence is committed as soon you discard and leave the litter or dog mess.

I dropped it down a drain

Placing litter down a drain is an offence which will result in a fixed penalty notice.