Environmental enforcement means issuing penalty notices for environmental crimes such as dog fouling, littering and fly tipping, which may all harm the environment and impact on communities.
These penalties are called Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs).
How we enforce
We enforce by issuing FPNs to those committing environmental crimes in the borough. Our uniformed enforcement officers (civil enforcement officers) work around the borough and have the power to issue FPNs.
FPNs are issued for a number of offences such as:
- Dropping litter (items such as chewing gum, cigarette butts and any other forms of litter such as wrapping)
- Failing to pick up after your dog or allowing your dog to enter an area which they are not allowed to be in such as a children’s play area or on a marked sports pitch
- Failing to meet your duty of care for disposal of household waste
- Fly tipping
The FPNs we issue can range from £75 for dropping litter, £100 for any dog control matter, £300 for not disposing of your household waste correctly and £400 for fly tipping.
If a FPN remains unpaid then we will go ahead with court action.
Why we do it
At Wrexham County Borough Council we take environmental crime very seriously. We aim to keep Wrexham a pleasant place for our residents and visitors.
We have a legal duty to clear litter and refuse from public places that we are responsible for such as streets, parks, playgrounds and pedestrian areas.
We work hard to keep the town tidy and clean and part of this work involves enforcement to make sure it stays this way.
What powers we have to enforce
Since the Environment Protection Act 1990 (external link) became law it has been followed by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (external link). These laws introduced measures that allow local authorities to issue FPNs to anyone committing an environmental crime that damages the local environment.
If a piece of private land is littered or fly tipped upon, the owner has the responsibility for clearing the waste.
Other ways we tackle environmental crime
We have also introduced Public Space Protection Orders to deal with dog fouling and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
Ideally, we want to prevent environmental crimes from happening in the first place.
We can put up a variety of ‘NO FOULING’ signs; depending on the nature of the site. These signs tell dog owners about the penalties and serve as a visual deterrent at the site of the problem.
If you have been given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
You have 14 days to pay a FPN, you can pay online through our e-store (find the relevant fixed penalty option under the ‘All Shops’ list and select ‘Apply’).
By paying the fine, you can avoid being taken to court.
It is important to remember that you can still be given a FPN even if:
- there were no bins nearby where you were fined – it is still your responsibility to carry your litter to a bin further away or take your litter home
- there were no signs about littering, dog fouling or fly tipping in the area
- you only dropped a small amount of litter – cigarette butts and chewing gum count as litter and tend to be more of a nuisance/more expensive to clean than other rubbish
- you pick up your litter after an officer has approached you - litter offences are about the act of dropping litter
- you committed the offence on private land – we have the right to issue a ticket on any land which is open to the public, under Section 87 (2) and (3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990
How to make a representation against a FPN
There is no formal representation process for FPNs. This is because by paying a FPN, whilst not an admission of guilt, you agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying we will take no further action.
If you disagree that you have committed an offence, you can decide not to pay the FPN and the matter will then be decided by a court. However, this can be expensive and time-consuming for both parties.
We have an informal representation process that can help to resolve disputes before they get to court.
If we, or anyone acting on our behalf, serve you a FPN you can make a representation in writing if you either:
- disagree that you have committed an offence
- feel that it was unreasonable for us to serve the notice
You can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a letter to:
Chief Officer Environment and Technical,
In order to serve you a FPN, we will have evidence that you committed an offence. Any representation must therefore clearly show the reasons why the FPN should be reconsidered.
You will need to give us evidence, such as photos and witnesses, so that we can fully consider your representation.
If you will not be able to pay within the 14 days
How we deal with representations
Every representation will be considered on its merits, based on the information and evidence provided by you and by the person who issued the notice.
You will receive a full written response, normally within 10 working days. Where a more detailed investigation is needed, we will respond within 5 working days.
Where representations are not upheld, the reasons for this will be explained, a further 14 day period for payment will be given.
If you are not satisfied with the response then you can make further representations to our enforcement services co-ordinator who will fully review the matter.