COLERAINE Borough Council has recently announced that in the ongoing battle against litter, Enforcement Officers are temporarily joining forces with members of Garvagh Police Service Northern Ireland.
Over the next few weeks, members of the partnership group will be out in force in order to target one particular type of offender the motorist!
Vehicle litter makes up a huge proportion of the Borough’s litter as lazy motorists toss their rubbish on to road verges.
Country roads around the Garvagh and Kilrea areas appear to be especially blighted by this form of anti-social behaviour.
The problem seems to escalate around weekends with the roads leading from both towns appearing to suffer the most.
Members of local residents groups have been pressing both the Police and Council to ‘do something’ about this problem and to exercise the law which allows for on-the-spot fines (Fixed Penalties £80). Failure to pay the Penalty can result in a court appearance where the maximum fine is currently £2,500.
Speaking of behalf of concerned residents, Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Sam Cole said; “this partnership is essential to improve our Borough and I thank those involved for making this initiative take place. Not only are road verges around our area littered with all manner of fast food packaging, confectionary wrappers and drinks bottles, but some lay-bys and car parks in the area are being used for fly tipping.
“Often we see the remains of someone’s lunch or tea time break littering the road surface, only feet from a litter bin. Most offences take part late at night and fast food wrappings top the list. Upon closer inspection, it has revealed that daytime offenders from the commercial sector also add to the littering problem, with old dockets and paperwork. This is just not acceptable any more and the law supports action being taken. We ask that drivers change their habits and make the Borough of Coleraine a more pleasant place to live, work and travel through”
Catherine McNally, Head of the Environmental Service’s Enforcement teams says; “This is now the opportunity to support the requests of our residents regarding our powers to prosecute those discarding rubbish from a car. We are especially grateful to Garvagh PSNI for joining us on patrol. I’d like to take this opportunity to warn potential litter offenders that we are monitoring the area and will have no hesitation in issuing fixed penalties to anyone we detect. There are no excuses as there are ample bins along the route. I advise drivers that if they are caught out between towns, to simply hold the rubbish until they reach home or pull in to use a roadside bin.”
Coleraine Area Commander Chief Inspector Nicky Thompson says that the PSNI’s role in the partnership will be to deliver road safety messages. He added; “A driver who discards rubbish from a car has little regard for the community. We hope that they show more regard for road safety. Joining forces together with Coleraine Borough Council we will address drivers on issues such as speeding, driving with care and attention, drink/drug driving and vehicle defects.”
As a final appeal to those who litter, please respect the town and countryside. For more information please contact Jim Allen, Environmental Services at Coleraine Borough Council on 028 70347171 or visit www.colerainebc.gov.uk.