SIX litterbugs have been fined £834 each for dropping rubbish in the street.

The offenders refused to pay the immediate £75 fine when caught in the act in Western Road, Brighton and Boundary Road, Portslade.

If the fine is not paid within 28 days, the case goes to court where the offender will face a higher fine plus costs.

In this case, each of the defendants failed to attend court.

They were fined £440, told to pay £350 costs plus a £44 victim surcharge, totalling £834 each.

Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “We’re determined to stamp out littering and these convictions show we take this type of crime very seriously.

“We will not sit back and watch our beautiful city become dirty because someone can’t be bothered to find a bin for their cigarette butt or rubbish, or clean up after their dog.

“Nor will we stand aside and let people fly-tipping their unwanted items beside a communal bin, expecting the council to take them away at the expense of other council tax payers. We will continue to gather evidence and fine offenders.

If they fail or refuse to pay, we will take them to court where they will be handed much bigger fines and a criminal prosecution, as these offenders have found out.”

It is against the law for people to:

  • Drop or throw away litter, including cigarette butts
  • Fly-tip or fly-post.
  • Fail to pick up their dog's mess if they foul in public space

Anyone caught is given an on-the-spot fine between £75 and £300, depending on the type of offence.

By law, anyone caught littering must give their full name and address to the council.

Failure to give the correct name and address can lead to a £1,000 fine and a criminal conviction.

If the offender then fails to pay the fixed penalty notice, the case progresses to the local Magistrates Court with the maximum penalty of £2,500.

As littering is a criminal offence and not a civil offence, anyone found guilty will not only face a bigger fine than the original £75, they will also have a criminal conviction against their name.