Fly tippers and litterers beware, as Merton Council’s environment team now has greater powers to punish culprits under the first raft of measures in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.
Since the acts introduction on Tuesday 7 June, fly tipping became an arrestable offence, with the most serious cases resulting in a maximum £50,000 fine or five years imprisonment. The act also reminds people that chewing gum and cigarette butts are litter, with culprits facing fines of up to £50, which will soon be increased to £75.
Councillor Linda Kirby, Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: ‘ The new rules give us greater powers to tackle environmental crime and will make our residents think twice before fly-tipping or dropping litter. We want to ensure Merton is a clean and tidy borough for our residents to live in.”
Under the new act, littering offences have also been extended to include all open spaces – rivers, lakes, ponds and private property, which was previously not considered an offence.
Further information about the act is available on the Defra website.