Dropped cigarette

Dropped cigarette costs driver more than £1,500

A vehicle owner has been ordered to pay more than £1,500 for failing to provide details of the driver of her car who was caught dropping a cigarette by Barking and Dagenham Council enforcement officers.

The driver Maurine Bateesa’s Nissan Duke was seen disposing of the cigarette onto the public highway, which is a littering offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

DVLA records showed that Bateesa, of Harlequin Close in Barking, was the vehicle’s registered keeper and she was issued with a legal notice to provide details of who was behind the wheel at the time of the offence.

Despite a reminder and a notice of intended prosecution being sent, Bateesa failed to respond, and the case was referred to court.

At a hearing held at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 13 December 2022, Bateesa failed to enter a plea and in her absence was ordered to pay a fine of £660 as well as costs of £840 to Barking and Dagenham Council and a £66 victim surcharge.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “The simple fact is this person is littering. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cigarette butt or a black bag. It’s a criminal act and we will not tolerate people treating our borough like a dumping ground.

“Grime crime is something our residents have told us is a top issue for them, which is why we take a zero-tolerance approach against those we catch in the act, and why we have increased our patrols and surveillance in problem areas.

“This person has learned an expensive lesson and we hope it sends a message to others in our borough.”