Merton enforcement patrol targets litterbugs

Merton’s anti-litter campaign has got off to a flying start with its first litter education roadshow and subsequent enforcement patrol.

Pounding the streets in Wimbledon, Merton’s enforcement officers, along with local police officers, issued seven £75 fines to people dropping cigarette butts and other rubbish on the ground last week. They also served six warnings to minors.

Every year, the council spends over £3.7 million keeping the borough’s streets clean – money it would rather spend more constructively on recycling and environmental initiatives.

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘We will be talking to people about what constitutes litter and warning them of the potential £75 they could incur if they’re caught dropping rubbish on the pavement. We are then following up our educational roadshows with enforcement action. We spend thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money every year on cleaning up after those people who are too lazy to do the right thing and put their rubbish in a bin. Anyone receiving a fixed penalty notice and failing to pay it will be prosecuted, so littering can be an expensive habit. We don’t want to fine people, but we have to do something to curb this environmental crime. This type of direct action is what a vast majority of people would want and expect us to take. There are over 600 litter bins around Merton, so there is no excuse. Our message to everyone is bin it, don’t sling it.’