Hundreds of litterbugs fined on Sheffield’s streets

Almost 1,400 fines have been handed out for littering in Sheffield city centre – with students and visitors the main culprits.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 2:22 pm
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:36 pm
Coun Mark Jones

The £80 on the spot fines total at least £112,000 and West Street has been highlighted as one of the worst areas.

Coun Mark Jones, Cabinet member for streetscene, says he’s seen people openly throwing rubbish without a thought.

“I have seen individuals just blatantly littering. One guy came out of a supermarket and was eating biscuits and just threw the wrapper behind him, he just didn’t care. Some people are that brazen.

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“West Street has a lot of litter, you don’t see it so much around the Peace Gardens and on The Moor, and very often it feels like its students and visitors who are littering and just haven’t thought about it.”

Two thirds of people pay the fine as soon as they are caught by enforcement officers and while the council could increase the fines significantly, it chooses not to.

Coun Jones added: “People are given a fine there and then and two thirds of people pay straight away but if people don’t pay within four weeks they are pursued by the courts.

“Almost a quarter of people have been in court but they then have to play the legal charges as well so it does end up costing them more. Ultimately, bailiffs can be sent in to recover fines and court costs.”

There are around 400 bins in the city centre and Burngreave ward has the next highest number, with 300, traditionally because of the Northern General Hospital.

Metal bins cost £800 each, plus they need to be secured to pavements which is an additional cost, and Amey is in charge of emptying all the street bins.

Coun Jones says occasionally bins are relocated because businesses have been filling them with their own rubbish.

“We have moved bins from outside several shops and put them down the street or opposite because the businesses have been abusing them to dispose of their own waste.

“With takeaways we tend to put a bin further down the street as people often come out and walk while they eat then look to throw away their rubbish.”