Fixed penalty notices Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)?

The council issues fixed penalty notice fines to anyone caught committing offences which impact on community. This includes the offences of littering, dog fouling, flytipping and breaching a community protection notice.

How much is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Different penalties apply for different  notices, with options available for early repayment.

Types of FPN fines :

  • Littering and Dog Fouling

The penalty for this offence is £80. 

The council is working with a company called Kingdom to implement this type of enforcement. Several councils already successfully work with Kingdom in this way including Canterbury and Maidstone.

  • Flytipping

Council officers can also issue FPNs to anyone caught flytipping. The penalty for this offence is £400. More information is available here

  • Breach of Community Protection Notice

Council officers can also now issue fixed penalty notice fines for anyone who breaches a Community Protection Notice. The penalty for this offence is £100. More information is available here

How much is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

A Fixed Penalty Notice for littering and dog fouling will cost you £80.

A Fixed Penalty Notice for breach of a Community Protection Notice will cost you £100.

If you do not pay this you could end up in court and be faced with a conviction that could cost you up to £2,500.

What exactly will I get a fine for?

Uniformed environmental enforcement officers will be patrolling across the district and will be issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for the following:

Dropping litter - including items such as cigarette butts, chewing gum, fast food and other forms of litter such as packaging.

Dog Fouling - failing to pick up after your dog or not disposing of the dog waste in the correct way.

Flytipping - depositing of any waste onto late without permission

Dropping litter, not cleaning up after your dog and flytipping are all offences that are illegal and impact on the look of the community and enjoyment of others. The council has run several campaigns over the years targeting environmental crimes using releases, posters and advertising to continue our education campaign workinmg jointly with organisations such as the Environment Agency, Clean Kent and Keep Britain Tidy.  Unfortunately publicity alone is not effective enough so the council are combining this with enforcement. The aim of the enforcement patrols is to target those who choose to ignore the littering laws which the vast majority abide by.

Breach of Communinity Protection Notice - is slightly different , in that it is specific to an individual who will have already received a warning and a notice setting out what it is they are expected to do to remedy the situation. A fixed penalty notice will only be issued if these previous requests have note been complied with.

More information about Anti Social Behaviour and Community Protection Notices is available here 

Are there patrolling Enforcement Officers and where do they patrol?

The council work jointly with Kingdom to have a visible presence accross the District. The officers are tasked to areas of highest demand but will patrol wherever there is evidence of littering. It has been shown that town centres are hotspot areas and cigarette butts are the most common litter issue.

What if there weren’t any bins around where I was fined?

It is not feasible for the council to put litter bins on every street, road and highway in the district as this would not be practical or affordable. Every effort is made to place bins where these are needed, generally around the highest levels of pedestrian footfall.

Dog poo once bagged can be placed in any litter bin, not only the designated dog poo bins.

Where bins are not available then it is up to you to act responsibly and carry your litter to a bin or take your litter home.

Why should I pay if there were no signs about littering, dog fouling or flytipping in the area?

The council are not required to place signs in every area to tell people not to litter and inform them about the litter patrols. However, the council has put up signs in areas of high footfall warning the public that enforcement action is taking place in the area.

I received a Fixed Penalty Notice for dropping a cigarette butt, surely they don't count as litter?

Yes they do. Litter includes cigarette butts and chewing gum. These two items tend to be more of a nuisance and more expensive to clean than other items of rubbish.

Smokers are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in a bin. 

If I pick up my litter after an officer has approached me do I still get a fine?

Litter offences relate to the act of dropping litter so whether or not you volunteer to pick this up afterwards you have still committed an offence and will still receive a fine.

What if I don’t agree I’ve committed an offence? Can I appeal a fixed penalty notice?

There are no formal grounds of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice. This is because by paying a Fixed Penalty Notice, whilst not an admission of guilt, you agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying no further action will be taken by the council.

This saves time for everyone involved (including the offender) as opposed to taking the case to court. The fine is likely to be substantially lower than any fine imposed by the courts. For example the maximum penalty which can be imposed by the courts for littering is £2,500.

If you don’t agree that you have committed the offence for which you received the Fixed Penalty Notice then the matter will be dealt with through formal prosecution via the courts.

Any mitigating circumstances that you wish to make us aware of can be communicated through the details given on the Fixed Penalty Notice. 

I have limited funds and I will not be able to pay within the 14 days what can I do?

if you have been issued a fine for littering and dog fouling you can contact Kingdom Security to explain your circumstances.

if your fine relates to flytipping or a breach of a Community Protection Notice you have been issued, then contact The Civil Enforcement Officer, Thanet District Council. Po Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate. CT9 1XZ.

This will be reviewed and you may be granted a time extension to pay. The Fixed Penalty Notice cannot be paid in instalments.

Remember

  • If you drop litter (including cigarette butts or chewing gum) you will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80.
  • That you can use bins without ashtrays, extinguish the cigarette first, then place it in the bin.
  • Not having a bin to hand is not an excuse for littering.
  • Placing a cigarette end down a drain is still an offence which will result in a fine.
  • The offence is complete once the item is deposited and the person walks away.

Failing to give your name and address is an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1990 Section 88 (8B).