Council doubles cost of on-the-spot fines in war on littering

They’ve offered the public the carrot. Now, here comes the stick, as the council has doubled its on-the-spot fines for littering and fly-tipping.

Free bulk waste collections, alongside £150 fines for fly-tipping, are the council’s twin-track approach to clean up Croydon

Croydon’s Labour-run council last month announced plans to revive the free bulk waste collection service for Council Tax-paying residents, in part, at least, to encourage people to work with the council to arrange the collection of rubbish, rather than have to clear-up after them.

And this week, measures were approved to double on-the-spot fines to £150 for litter offences from April 1.

That fine could be applied to someone caught fly-tipping, but might even be imposed on someone dropping a drink can or cigarette stub in the High Street.

The increased fines come as the council has admitted that even with 40 paid staff patrolling the streets and handing out FPNs – Fixed Penalty Notices – with 80-quid fines, it is not enough of a deterrent.

A report to Monday’s council cabinet meeting said, “Despite the council issuing more FPNs than ever before for these offences over the last three years, the borough still experiences high levels of littering and low-level fly-tipping, for which these fines are used. They are therefore not acting as a deterrent to offenders.”

“That’ll be £150, if you don’t mind…”

Under the council’s “Don’t Mess With Croydon” war on littering since 2015, there have been more than 180 cases taken to court and successfully prosecuted, even for seemingly minor offences, such as the £700 fine handed down to someone for dropping a cigarette butt. One “prolific fly-tipper” was jailed for 12 months.

In the four years to 2014, under the previous Conservative Town Hall administration, there were no prosecutions at all.

The council’s street patrol team, which is to recruit an additional 20 officers, has been issuing around 850 on-the-spot FPNs each year for littering and fly-tipping offences.

But Monday’s cabinet report was a clear admission that even this no-nonsense policy had failed to improve the public’s dirty habits. Against a national trend that suggests that the British public is getting lazier and more careless about how it disposes of its rubbish, Croydon Council must be hoping that bigger fines will cause litterers to think twice.

Also agreed at the meeting was an increase in the cost of FPNs for fly-posting, from £75 to £100, and for breach of a community protection notice, from £80 to £100.

  • Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
  • Inside Croydon is the borough’s only independent news source, and still based in the heart of Croydon
  • “Monitored” by the council CEO since 2010
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS 2017: Inside Croydon was source for two award-winning nominations in Private Eye magazine’s annual celebration of civic cock-ups
  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Croydon Council, Fly tipping, Refuse collection and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Council doubles cost of on-the-spot fines in war on littering

  1. I’m thinking of introducing an on the spot fine myself. Every time the Council’s recycling team fails to collect the recycling from me, I’ll fine them £150. At the present, retroactively applying the fine across the last six months, I’m owed over £2000….

  2. Charles Calvin says:

    Reintroducing free bulk collection is a good idea.
    But there’ll still be those who flytip and ironically they mostly do it on their own doorsteps!
    What causes this disenfranchisement or even disengagement from community?
    I believe there are many reasons. Some are within our control.
    Croydon Council ignoring the concerns of communities by imposing Brick-by-Brick developments does little to lessen this sense of disengagement.

  3. Lewis White says:

    Big Fines for fly-tipping building rubble, beds, and other serious littering ? Yes, quite right, in my book, but swingeing fines for dropping a single fag end is punitive, well over the top, an easy “nab” and just wrong.

    The council itself needs to radically improve the bin-emptying regime and litter picking from town centres and areas which suffer from lots of litter. Far too many bins are already overflowing on a Friday afternoon— and the streets are full of rubbish by Sunday. More bins, more bins emptied more often is what we need.

    oh….nearly forgot…… The Government needs to step up big time and urgently, to bring in deposit schemes to incentivise the lazy and couldn`t-care-less litter-droppers to take their litter home and recycle it, and thereby stop the tide of discarded bottles and cans that disfigures every street in the borough, and blights parks and country lanes everywhere.

  4. South Norwood has some horrendous fly-tipping. It blights the area. Strangely enough things tend to appear overnight…. Are these people on night shifts? Agree with comment above that the council (sadly) really does need to collect black bin rubbish weekly rather than every 2 weeks. Bins are constantly over-flowing, the foxes go mad for it all and it ends up strewn all over the streets and green spaces.

Leave a Reply