New penalties policy for environmental offences

A previous Northumberland County Council dog-fouling campaign.
A previous Northumberland County Council dog-fouling campaign.
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The county council is to introduce a new policy to set out how it will tackle environmental offences through the use of fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

A report to next Tuesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s decision-making cabinet explains that the previous policy, adopted in 2009, is no longer fit for purpose because of subsequent legislative changes.

The policy covers enforcement relating to a series of offences, such as dog control/dog fouling, littering, fly-tipping, abandoning a vehicle, consuming alcohol in public spaces and graffiti.

In 2015/16, a total of 469 FPNs were issued, mainly for littering and dog fouling; this is the highest number ever issued by the authority in one year.

In the new policy, fines range from £75 for the likes of littering and dog offences up to £400 for fly-tipping – the high end of the legislative guidance.