Dropped an apple? That’ll be an £80 fine if caught in new crackdown
Dropped apples, popcorn and even nuts – a heavy clampdown on littering on a city estate has led to hundreds of people being fined.
A total of 462 fines for littering in Park Village in Wolverhampton have been issued under controversial powers aimed at tackling antisocial behaviour.
The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was introduced in the estate in 2016. Each fine is £80.
Others have been brought in on areas across the Black Country, but none with the same impact.
A list of the fines issued in Park Village reveals most are for dropping cigarettes, but some are more obscure.
They include the dropping of tissues, food, nuts, sweet wrappers, straw paper and plastic bags.
The Park Village PSPO was applied for by Wolverhampton Homes. It also secured a PSPO for Low Hill.
That has seen seven fines issued for caravans being on the road.
Assistant director Darren Baggs said: “Wolverhampton Homes’ antisocial behaviour team, who are responsible for tackling anti-social behaviour across the City and across all tenures, took the lead in gathering evidence to secure PSPOs in 2015 and later co-ordinated enforcement action in response to breaches of the PSPOs.
"When a breach takes place, the [Wolverhampton] council’s Regulatory Services team issues fixed penalty notices where needed.
"Since the PSPO was introduced in Park Village, there have been no reports of alcohol-related disorder during the evening.
"West Midlands Police call logs also suggest that there has been a reduction in anti-social behaviour within the PSPO zone. Since the introduction of the PSPO in Low Hill, four fixed penalty notices have been issued in relation to the unauthorised parking of caravans.
"Fixed penalty notices have also been issued in response to littering."
A spokesman for Wolverhampton council said: “The money accrued from fixed penalty notices from those who choose to abuse our PSPO, fund key council facilities to enforce litter and waste management to improve the cleanliness and maintenance of our city. “
Elsewhere in the region, Stafford Borough Council used a PSPO to find a person walking five dogs in March.
In Sandwell, the councils uses PSPOs to tackle dog fouling and people drinking alcohol in the street.
Since 2005 it has issued 16 fines for alcohol and nine for dog fouling.
In Walsall, the council has issued four fines for antisocial behaviour under the laws and in Dudley two people have been fined for dog fouling.
In Cannock, one person was fined for dog fouling under the laws last year.