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Dropping cigarette lands woman with costly fine

Press release   •   Sep 04, 2014 15:38 BST

A woman will see £435 go up in smoke after being caught dropping just one cigarette on the street.

Deborah Jones, aged 51, of Brickfield Street, Rochdale, was witnessed by officers on a routine litter patrol discarding the cigarette butt on Yorkshire Street in Rochdale town centre in April this year.

She was issued a fixed penalty notice for the offence but failed to pay the reduced amount of £50 within seven days and the full amount of £75.

Jones did not appear at Bury and Rochdale Magistrates Court on 19 August, but was found guilty and in her absence was ordered to pay the £75 fine, £340 costs and a victim surcharge of £20.

Councillor Karen Danczuk, Assistant Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment, said: “We want the borough to look as clean and as welcoming as possible. Discarded cigarette ends don’t just make an area look untidy; they are difficult and costly to clean up.

"Thank you to those smokers who discard their cigarettes responsibly, but for those who flout the law, anyone caught dropping a cigarette or any other type of litter will be fined. Make sure once you stub out a cigarette, you bin it.”

The 2012 Local Environmental Quality Survey of England, carried out by Keep Britain Tidy showed that 82 per cent of sites surveyed were affected by smokers’ materials, which consist of cigarettes, cigarette butts, cigars, matchsticks/boxes, cigarette and cigar boxes, wrappers and disposable lighters, which rose to 99 per cent of sites in main retail areas.

It can take around 12 years for a cigarette to biodegrade.

Dropping litter in a public place in the district contravenes section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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