Birmingham City Council

Environmental Health - Fixed Penalty Notice

Overview

We are committed to dealing with environmental crime by the use of Fixed Penalty Notices. Authorised officers of the council issue Fixed Penalty Notices for a range of criminal offences.

A Fixed Penalty Notice is an 'on the spot' fine for committing offences such as:

  • Littering
  • Dog Fouling
  • Businesses not having a waste removal contract
  • Unauthorised distribution of literature i.e. flyers,leaflets
  • Advancement of household waste

If you have been issued a fixed penalty for such offences you can either pay the fine within the timescale shown on the notice, or your case will likely proceed to court for criminal prosecution.

You can make payment in full by calling 0121 303 6007 (between 08:45 - 16:00), selecting the related options and quoting the reference number which is located towards the top right hand side of the notice.

For further information see below.

Essential Information
  • If you pay your Fixed Penalty Notice in full no further action will be taken.

    However if you do not agree or wish to contest the fixed penalty notice which you received, then the matter will be dealt with in the courts as a formal prosecution. It will then be up to the court to determine whether or not an offence was committed and therefore whether or not any penalty should be imposed. It should be noted the financial penalty imposed by the courts can be significantly greater than which is imposed through a Fixed Penalty Notice. Also if found guilty you would receive a criminal conviction.

    For more information and to view the current enforcement policy go to Enforcement Policy for Regulation and Enforcement Services.

  • If you would like to make a request for a refund, please use our service specific enquiry page. All requests are dealt with on an individual basis, and will be investigated by one of our officers. We may have to contact you to ask for further information about your request before a decision is made.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • Fixed Penalty Notices will be issued by legally authorised officers of the council.

    • No. There are no formal grounds of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice. This is because it is an invitation for you to effectively “buy off” your liability to prosecution. This means that if you agree that an offence has been committed by you and paying the fine in full no further action will be taken. This method of dealing with offences not only saves the time involved for everyone (including the offender) in prosecuting cases at court, but the cost associated with a Fixed Penalty Notice is likely to be substantially lower than any fine imposed by the courts. For example the maximum penalty which can be imposed by the Courts for littering is £2,500 along with a criminal conviction against the person.

    • In this case the matter will be dealt with through formal prosecution in the court. It will then be up to the Court, to determine whether or not an offence was committed and whether or not any penalty should be imposed. The financial penalty imposed by the courts can be significantly greater than that which is imposed through a Fixed Penalty Notice.

    • We are not required to place signs in every street, road, highway or open park/space to tell people not to litter. Litter legislation has been in force for many years. Littering in many parts of the UK is at such levels that Local Authorities across the country are now using Fixed Penalty Notices to drive the message home to those who spoil our towns and cities by carelessly discarding their rubbish.

    • It is not possible to place litterbins in every street, road and highway in the city. Of course every effort is made to place bins where they are most needed and where there are the most people, such as in town centres and major shopping areas. Where bins are not available then it is up to everyone to act responsibly and make arrangements to either take their litter home or carry it until a litterbin is available.

    • Smokers are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in the bin. Cigarette waste is the same as any other waste and you can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for not disposing of cigarette stubs properly. Obviously, to avoid any risk of fire. Cigarette ends should be completely extinguished on the stubbing plates provided on many litterbins before the stub is thrown into the bin. There is also no reason why smokers cannot carry portable ‘butt bins’ with them or create their own by placing some soil or sand in a small tin.

    • Our anti-litter campaign has been continual in recent years. Thousands of pounds of your money has been spent on posters, advertising and articles in the press, on the radio and TV. We have also run street theatres with actors dressed up as litter to emphasise the anti littering message. Organisations like the Keep Britain Tidy Group also do an excellent job in helping us get the anti-littering message over. Of course all the publicity in the world is of no use whatsoever if the message is being ignored. We take our enforcement duties seriously, and back up what is a serious and important message with action. This is the aim of our enforcement patrols who target those who ignore the littering laws which the rest of us abide by.

    • The littering offence relates to the dropping of litter and walking away once you have dropped it. So whether or not you volunteer to pick up your litter afterwards you have committed an offence and will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.


    • Littering is not only a serious blight on our environment but very costly to the City Council as well. Here are a few facts and figures:


      • £450 million is spent each year in England and Wales keeping the streets clean.
      • 30 million tonnes of litter is collected every year just from our streets.
      • In Birmingham it costs £13.7 million per year to clean the streets, which is equivalent to one computer for every child at school.
      • Litter on our streets forms about 1% of all of the waste that the Council picks up in a year but approximately 27% of the total waste collection budget is spent clearing up this waste.



    • Should the same person commit the same offence more than once in any twelve month period, consideration will be given to prosecuting the individual rather than issuing a further fixed penalty notice.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.


      Service Specific Enquiry
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