ON-THE-SPOT fines for litter louts have been reintroduced after the loosening of lockdown rules saw a spike in the amount of rubbish left behind by beach-goers.

Brighton and Hove City Council's enforcement officers will now have the power to slap offenders with a £150 fine if they catch them dropping litter or not clearing properly.

Fines were suspended in the early stages of the lockdown when visitor numbers to Brighton and Hove plummeted.

But they have now been restarted.

The Argus:

This comes after an easing of the UK lockdown allowed people to drive indefinite distances for exercise and recreation, as well as sunbathe and sit in public places - so long as social distancing rules are observed.

The updated guidelines, twinned with Springtime sunshine, resulted in large numbers of people making a beeline for Brighton beach.

But some selfish sun-seekers left their glass bottles, plastic cups, takeaway containers and more strewn across the pebbles after their trip to the seafront.

Now, if caught, these individuals can again be charged £150 by the council if they discard cigarette butts, chewing gum, food and food wrappers, bottles, cans, used barbecues and anything else deemed litter.

The Argus:

Those caught spitting, urinating or defecating in public will also face the same fine.

Meanwhile, anyone caught leaving waste or household items on land or the street without permission will be hit with a straight £400 fine for fly-tipping.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chairwoman of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: "We put issuing fines, apart from fly-tipping offences, on hold at the start of lockdown when there were very few people out and about.

"But with restrictions being lifted and more and more people using the seafront and walking around the city, littering is again becoming a problem, so we’ve had to restart issuing fines as a deterrent."

The fine will be reduced to £110 if it is paid early, but not paying the fine can result in the person being taken to court.

The Argus:

Cllr Pissaridou said: "We take no pleasure in issuing fines, but we cannot and will not stand back and let people litter our city, and thereby harm our seas and our environment.

"There are thousands of bins throughout the city so there is no reason or excuse for littering.

"In the unlikely event all the nearby bins are full, people should take their rubbish home with them."

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