People caught dropping litter in Bristol will face increased penalty fines from next month.
From April 1 fines for people who persist in dropping litter or defacing property with graffiti will increase to £100 in line with new Government regulations.
Bristol City Council’s Cabinet is then set to make a decision on April 3 about whether or not to keep the £50 early payment discount. It is proposed to keep the current £50 rate – the lowest allowed under the new Government regulations.
The council is half way through an initial pilot with Kingdom, which works with local authorities across the country to tackle environmental crime.
On average over 1,000 people have been issued with Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for committing environmental crimes each month since the pilot scheme was launched in November last year.
The service is being delivered at no cost to the council, as the costs are being met through the payment of FPNs. Surplus funds from the on-the-spot fines will be directed back into tackling environmental issues across the city.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has made a pledge that Bristol will be measurably cleaner by 2020.
Street-cleaning currently costs £6 million per year and last year around 7,000 tonnes of waste was collected from street cleansing rounds.
It is hoped that the new harsher penalty will act as a further deterrent to stop people from dropping litter and encourage them to have more respect for the city.
The Mayor said: “These increases support our robust enforcement approach designed to encourage people to change their behaviour and make Bristol measurably cleaner.
“Keeping Bristol clean is everyone’s responsibility, but the message is still not being heard as we are still seeing an average of more than 1,000 fines a month being handed out to people who litter.
“We are working closely with Kingdom to make sure that more fines are handed out for offences that matter most to people across the city.
“It is hoped that by increasing the maximum fine, more people will take notice and choose not to disrespect our streets by dropping rubbish or not clearing up after their dogs.
“We will not accept littering and tagging in Bristol, we all have a duty to keep the city clean and tidy for both residents and visitors alike.”
People who don’t pay their fines could be taken to court and incur costs of up to £2,500.
The introduction of Kingdom’s enforcement team has freed up council officers to tackle larger problems including fly tipping, abandoned vehicles, noise complaints, and dealing with dangerous and stray dogs.