Dungannon litterbugs least likely to be fined

A postcode lottery for litterers
A postcode lottery for litterers

A fine mess? Litterbugs are up to ten times more likely to be prosecuted depending on where they strike in the Mid Ulster council area.

In addition, Dungannon people are among the least likely to be prosecuted for littering in Northern Ireland, according to the latest official figures.

Among the shocking discrepancies revealed by the Department of the Environment is the fact that almost ten times more litterers were apprehended in Magherafelt than in Dungannon, both of which now belong to the amalgamated Mid Ulster Council.

Over the past three years, Dungannon’s litter wardens dished out the second lowest amount of fixed penalty notices in the North, 14, behind Limavady which had 12.

Magherafelt has become a hotspot for littering prosecutions with the highest number of fines issued for a rural council at 130.

Overall, Belfast had the highest number of litterbugs at 5,231.

The differences, which were revealed at the Northern Ireland Assembly by the Minister of the Environment Mark H Durkan, suggest that now that Dungannon and Magherafelt council have merged, local litterers might face tougher penalties.

The local variations continue in Cookstown, which had 42 litterers prosecuted over the same period.

Fixed penalty notices punish people who drop litter, chewing gum, cigarette butts, or fail to pick up after their dog and for fly-tipping. The majority of notices levy a £80 fine.