Littering and flytipping are criminal offences and the Scottish Government encourages local authorities and the police to use their enforcement powers.
For some people, the realisation that there are financial penalties for littering and flytipping, and a risk of being caught, is a significant motivator.
Police officers and designated local authority officers have the power to issue fixed penalties for littering. If the case goes to court, a person who is caught littering is liable to a fine of up to £2,500.
Currently someone could face a £300 fiscal fine, or prosecution in court with the consequence of a fine of up to £40,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months – if convicted of flytipping.
SEPA enforcement measures will include fixed penalties of up to £2,500 and variable monetary penalties up to £40,000 – once the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 have been commenced. Once the Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014 takes effect on 1 April 2015, landfill tax will also be recoverable from convicted flytippers.
This supports the work of the Environmental Crime Taskforce and SEPA’s waste crime team which improves co-ordination between law enforcement agencies and others to tackle and prevent serious and organised crime.
These reinforce wider efforts to improve local environments through activities such as street cleansing and encouraging people to clean up after their dogs.
Through the litter strategy, ways to reinforce the deterrent effect of enforcement will be identified.