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Litter from Vehicles

How to report littering from a vehicle

If you've spotted litter being thrown from a vehicle the most important detail to take is the vehicle registration number. Please e-mail this to Customer Services.

Please provide as much other information as possible and consider the following:

  • Make, model and colour of the vehicle
  • Location and time of the offence
  • Details of the items thrown
  • Do you have any dashboard camera footage? (make sure it's saved.)
  • Offender description - for example, male or female, passenger/driver age, hair colour, clothing
  • How close you were when the incident occurred
  • Your name and contact details

We’ll be in touch to check the details and will ask you to complete a witness statement confirming that you believe the information you’ve provided to be true and that you will agree to attending the Magistrate's Court to confirm these details if needed to do so. Documents needed for witness statements are found in useful documents.

What to do if you've received a penalty charge for littering from a vehicle

If you have received a penalty charge you have 28 days to pay via the following options:

  • online payments 
  • call us and pay by credit or debit card 01782 717717
  • pay at a PayPoint store if your notice includes a barcode

If you pay the penalty within 28 days then no further proceedings will be taken. If you do not pay the fixed penalty within that time, you may be prosecuted, and if convicted, it could result in you receiving a much larger fine. You may pay the lesser amount if you do so within 10 days of receiving your fixed penalty notice. The fines and timescales to pay your penalty are listed below: 

Fine Timescale
£75 0 - 10 days
£100 11 - 28 days

How to challenge a penalty charge

If you receive a civil penalty (PCN) you have a right to first make representations within 28 days to the Council under a number of grounds set out in the regulations. These include:

  • that the person was not the keeper of the vehicle at the time of the offence
  • that the offence was not committed
  • the vehicle was hired out under a vehicle hiring agreement
  • the vehicle was stolen (must provide the crime reference number)

Full details on how to make a representation is detailed on the PCN issued.. You may submit your representation by e-mail to Environmental Health or by post to:

Environmental Health
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
Castle House
Barracks Road

If you believe that the littering offence was committed by someone else, and provide a statement confirming this together with their name and address, the council may cancel the PCN and issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to the offender>

We may either cancel / withdraw the PCN if we accept your representation, however if we decide that the PCN was correctly issued we will confirm our decision by sending you a ‘Notice of Rejection of Representations’ letter (NOR), which will detail our reasons for rejection and explain your further options.

You can appeal the civil penalty to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal England and Wales, we will provide details of how to do this if we reject your representation.

The law.

The relevant legislation is: Littering From Vehicles Outside London (Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018. The Borough Council can give a civil penalty notice to the keeper of a vehicle from which litter is thrown.  A civil penalty is different from a fixed penalty as it does not carry the risk of criminal prosecution.  Enforcement officers will issue a penalty if they are satisfied that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ (the civil standard of proof) litter was thrown from a vehicle. A penalty can be issued where litter is thrown from a vehicle on to land which the Council has an obligation to keep clear.  This includes highways and trunk roads, pavements, verges and any other land the Council maintains.

Where a littering offence occurs on other land, and vehicle keeper provided evidence that a different person littered (for example passenger), a different (criminal) procedure applies for a breach of The Environmental Protection Act 1990, and a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued. If a Penalty Charge Notice (civil) is not paid on time the penalty automatically doubles.  We can recover this matter as a civil debt or via a county court order. Penalties can be registered with the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC)at the County Court. If a Fixed Penalty Notice (criminal) is not paid on time the matter is passed to the courts, where a fine and costs could be awarded on conviction.

Last updated 4 November 2019

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