Council officers are cracking down on littering and flyposting in Brighton and Hove.

Staff from Brighton and Hove City Council have been targeting music venues, pubs and clubs.

The authority has 12 officers who can hand out on-the-spot fines for offences such as littering, flyposting and flyering.

So far in 2011/12 the council has issued 73 of these notices compared to just 16 in the whole of 2010/11.

There have been four prosecutions brought by the council in 2011/12 for flyering.

Civil liberties group The Manifesto Club, criticised the authority for its response to the issue.

Disproportionate Spokeswoman, Josie Appleton, said: “This four-fold increase in on-the-spot fines over the past year suggests the council is really cracking down.

"This is a disproportionate penalty. In most cases these are just people handing out flyers about local events, or putting up a poster on an electrical box.

“These people are promoting events which add to the economy and vibrancy of the city: should they be hassled and punished in this way?

Money-making

“Leafleting without a licence is hardly a major crime demanding of public prosecution. Could it be a money-making venture for the council?”

The council has made £3,375 from on-the-spot fines so far in 2011/12. Almost 70% of the fines were handed out for littering. A council spokesman said: “We're getting problems with flyers and litter |outside venues.

“We need to act as it’s not fair for residents to have to pay to clear it up. It’s simple enough for the venues to do that. They need a licence to hand out flyers and that requires their commitment to clear up any mess.

“Staff are adequately qualified to hand out these fines. It’s a very easy crime to detect as the space outside the venue looks an obvious mess and the litter typically has the venue’s name printed on it.”

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