April 6, 2006

On-the-spot fines for British litterbugs

LONDON (Reuters) - New powers which allow local authorities
to issue stiffer, on-the-spot fines of up to 80 pounds for
littering, scrawling graffiti or failing to clear up dog mess
come into force on Thursday.

Under the Clean Neighborhoods and Environment Act, councils
can now take action against a range of anti-social behavior.

People who leave burglar alarms ringing for 20 minutes or
more could be fined 100 pounds and those who create a nuisance
by repairing their car on the street will face on-the-spot

Councils will also be able to fine people caught

"For too many years councils have had too little power to
tackle people who blight the local area," said David Sparks,
chairman of the Local Government Association's Environment

"Larger fines and the ability to issue on the spot
penalties will give councils the power to deal effectively with
the minority of people and businesses who spoil the local area
for the rest of the community."

Other measures include charging stores for the recovery of
abandoned shopping trolleys and allowing councils to remove
abandoned cars more quickly.

"I see no reason why we won't start seeing a marked
difference in the quality of our Neighborhoods within the next
two or three years," said environment minister Ben Bradshaw.