People who litter are to feel the “full weight of the law” as Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council pursues those who don’t pay their fines.
A total of 17 cases for unpaid fixed penalty notices were listed to be heard at both Newry and Craigavon Courthouses early this week.
The council said the escalating number of cases was a “positive statement of the local authority’s intent to bring legal action against anyone who receives a fixed penalty notice of £80 for a littering offence but fails to pay the penalty charge despite receiving several warning letters”.
On Monday, at Newry Magistrates’ Court, seven people from Armagh were each ordered to pay a fine of £160 plus £145 costs.
Cases due to be heard against a further four Armagh residents that day were adjourned until June, giving them an opportunity to appear in court.
A further six cases were listed to be heard at Craigavon Courthouse on Tuesday. A Banbridge resident was fined £100 plus £137 costs while a Portadown woman received an absolute discharge and was ordered to pay £122 costs.
A further four cases were adjourned to the next sitting.
A council spokesperson said: “Those who intentionally drop litter on our streets, roads or in the countryside should know by now that this blatant disregard for the environment is wrong and socially unacceptable.
“We take a dim view of it and so do the courts. It’s only right that we bring the full weight of the law to bear on offenders who think they can commit environmental offences and get away without paying a penalty.
“It’s high time they realise that their actions have consequences, and we will not let up until they take accountability.”
The council added that it will be taking further action in the coming months against those who do not pay fixed penalty notices for littering.