About fixed penalty notices 

A fixed penalty notice (FPN) is a fine issued instead of prosecution in court. If you receive one and don't pay it, you'll be prosecuted and may have to pay a bigger fine as well as court costs.

Issuing fixed penalty notices

We can issue an FPN fine of £75 if you:

  • drop litter including, but not limited to, cigarette butts, chewing gum and food wrappers.
  • fly-post, such as putting up posters or stickers on properties, lamp posts or other street furniture
  • distribute flyers or leaflets without a licence - apply for a flyering licence from us
  • don’t pick up your dog's mess if they foul in public spaces
  • make marks, drawing or painting on any outdoor structure without permission as this is graffiti

We can issue an FPN fine of £300 if you:

  • leave waste on land without permission, which is fly-tipping – this includes a wide range of items including building materials and things left out for others to take
  • have a business that’s producing waste but doesn’t have a valid Waste Transfer Note from a registered waste carrier – find out how to dispose of waste as a business

Receiving a fine

Under the law, our environmental enforcement officers have the power to ask for and take personal details from people known to have committed an offence. They can also issue FPNs there and then, but never ask for, take or accept money.

If caught, you must give your full name and address to the enforcement officer. Officers check identity using an electronic identification system. 

It is a criminal offence to refuse to give personal details under Section 8(a) of the Environmental Protection Act. The maximum penalty for not providing this information is £1,000 and a criminal conviction.

If you are given a fine, pay your environmental fixed penalty notice online.

Failure to pay a fine

If an FPN isn't paid, the case will progress to the local Magistrate's Court. The maximum penalty on conviction is £2,500, a criminal conviction and associated costs.

How we use your details

We keep records of:

  • all FPNs, from when we issue them until the case is closed
  • evidence, if the case has to go to court

Read our FPN privacy notice for environmental offences for information on how we store and process personal information.

Our environmental enforcement officers

Environmental enforcement officers wear blue jackets, black trousers and body cameras. Like the police, our officers use body cameras to gather evidence and identify offenders.

They also wear body cameras for protection of themselves and the public.

We issue fines under central government guidelines for issuing FPNs. Officers aren't paid incentives or commission for issuing fines, and do not have targets.

This service is run at no cost to local taxpayers. It's funded by the FPNs. Under government guidelines, we aren't allowed to use enforcement to generate revenue. If there's extra money from collecting fines, it's re-invested into improving rubbish and recycling services.

Our legal powers

We issue fines under the Environment Protection Act 1990, the Cleaner Neighbourhoods Environment Act 2005 and the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. Officers can legally go into commercial properties to deal with offences under these acts.