Our Litter Enforcement Programme
In January 2022, we began a new, one-year litter enforcement programme, using a dedicated team of enforcement officers from WISE (Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement), an external contractor.
What will the WISE team of enforcement officers do?
The 5-strong team of litter enforcement officers will undertake patrols across Mid Ulster, working in shifts and providing a 7 day a week operation including mornings and evenings.
The team’s focus will be on issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for littering offences, including dog fouling.
As well as general patrols, the team will also engage in ‘intelligence-led’ work, targeting areas of complaint or those identified as litter hotspots.
How many Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued?
Period 1 (18.01.22 – 22.03.22) Period 2 (23.03.22 – 27.05.22)
*Please note that cigarette butts make up the largest proportion of all litter on our streets - over 481,000 butts on any one day, according to a litter composition study by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
What authority do the enforcement officers have?
They have the same authority as the Council’s staff and will undertake their enforcement work in line with legislation and the Council’s Enforcement Policy.
The law gives the officers the power to ask for a name and address but not to detain a person. It is an offence not to give your name and address if an authorised officer demands it from you or to provide a false name and address.
The officers will show their credentials if asked for them.
Are the enforcement officers trained and vetted?
Yes. The enforcement officers are all vetted. They all receive bespoke, specialist training and work under the supervision of a training officer before they begin to work independently.
Do Enforcement Officers wear body worn cameras?
Yes. These are used to protect the public and the officers themselves, as they record the interaction between the officers and members of the public.
Cameras are only switched on at the point when officers introduce themselves to someone and they will explain that the camera is in operation. The camera is turned on during the conversation only. The recording can then be used as evidence in the event of a dispute or a future prosecution.
Do the enforcement officers have a quota or a target for how many Fixed Penalty Notices they issue?
No. There are no quotas. Enforcement officers are paid an hourly rate and do not receive bonuses.
What are fixed penalty notices?
A Fixed Penalty Notice is like an on-the-spot fine.
Enforcement Officers will issue a notice to anyone they see who drops litter and does not pick it up (including cigarette butts) and who allows their dog to foul without cleaning up.
How much is a Fixed Penalty Notice?
The Fixed Penalty Notice for littering is £80 and for dog fouling is £50.
How do I pay a Fixed Penalty Notice?
The Fixed Penalty Notice and any correspondence received will contain all of the information to allow you to make a payment.
You can pay:
Can I appeal a Fixed Penalty Notice?
There are no formal grounds of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice.
If you have received a Notice and do not agree that you have committed the offence, then the next step for the Council is to take a prosecution case.
At this point the court will decide, based on all the evidence, whether an offence was committed and whether a penalty should or should not be imposed.
The associated fine and potential court costs are likely to be much greater than the cost of paying the Notice.
If an offender wishes to make a complaint online:
If an offender wishes to contact Operational Support (Admin) they can do so:
Does there have to be signage in place warning about littering or dog fouling to allow a Fixed Penalty Notice to be issued?
No. No signage is required to allow a Fixed Penalty Notice to be issued.
Why should I pay a Fixed Penalty Notice when there are no litter bins?
Everyone is responsible for their own litter and you should carry your waste home or wait until you come across the nearest litter bin to dispose of it properly. No bin is not an excuse for littering or dog fouling.
Do Enforcement Officers issue warnings?
No. There are no warnings given. If an enforcement officer witnesses the offence, a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued.
Are there any exemptions?
Anyone who is under 18 will not be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
I have limited funds and I will not be able to pay within the 14 days. What can I do?
You can contact us to discuss options:
What happens if I refuse to pay the fixed penalty?
If you refuse to pay a fixed penalty, the Council will take a prosecution against you.