Media opportunity

What: Launch of anti-litter campaign involving Councillor Tariq Ahmad, Inspector Paul Carter, enforcement officers and PCSOs.

When: Friday 27 April at 10.00am

Where: Outside Centre Court Shopping Centre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19.

Over 4000 tonnes of litter were dropped in Merton during 2006/2007, which is why the council and police have decided to get tough with people that drop litter.

An advertising campaign raising awareness of £75 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for litter perpetrators is currently running in the borough. The message simply states that if people drop litter, they face a £75 on the spot fine, or even prosecution.

To reinforce the campaign, enforcement officers from Merton Council and Merton Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will engage in an intensive period of enforcement activity across Merton. PCSOs were recently given powers to be able to issue FPNs.

Councillor Tariq Ahmad, cabinet member for Environment and Traffic Management, said:

“People that drop litter have to take heed of fact that if they continue to do so, they will be hit with a £75 fine. If they don’t pay that, prosecution will be the next step. Not only does litter ruin the appearance of an area, it also reduces the quality of life for people in Merton, affects local wildlife and costs the taxpayer money.

“I would like to thank Merton Police for their support and I sincerely hope people think twice before they drop litter, anywhere but in a bin. If they don’t, it could prove to be a very expensive habit.”

Inspector Paul Carter from Merton Police said:

‘Litter along with other low level crimes, disorder and incivilities, is interpreted by people as a ‘warning signal’ about the level of safety and security in a neighbourhood. These issues can have a disproportionate impact on the fear of crime locally, despite the fact that Merton Borough has shown a reduction in overall crime, and is statistically the fourth safest borough in London.

“Working with partners to tackle the problem of litter is one way in which we can improve the sense of community well-being, and the public’s perception of the quality of local services.’