LITTERERS in the Dungannon District have the least chance of being caught in Northern Ireland, it has been revealed.
Although the number of fines issued for littering in Northern Ireland has risen steeply since tougher penalties aimed at tackling our rubbish-strewn streets were introduced, only five fines were handed out in the Dungannon District in the past two years.
More than £40m is currently spent every year tackling litter in Northern Ireland.
A report published later this month is expected to reveal one in 10 streets is failing to meet basic standards for cleanliness.
Yet there is a massive difference in how offenders are dealt with. Some councils have taken a zero-tolerance approach to littering – handing out hundreds of fines to louts who pollute our towns and countryside with their rubbish.
But in other areas, such as the Dungannon District offenders have little or no chance of being caught.
The disparity in fines emerged after an Assembly question from Fermanagh/South Tyrone DUP MLA Maurice Morrow.
He obtained a breakdown of the number of fixed penalty notices handed out by each of the 26 councils during 2012/13.
Twenty councils recorded a rise with one authority, Down District Council, seeing a five-fold increase –up from 60 to 289. Ballymoney, Dungannon and South Tyrone and Limavady councils issued four penalties each while Moyle – the smallest of the 26 councils – handed out seven.