|Woman tracked down through Facebook for litter offence|
|News - Climate Change News|
|Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:38|
A WOMAN who was caught dropping litter by council officers and gave false details has been tracked down through Facebook and prosecuted in court.
Jo-dee Sutton, aged 46, from Lon Hafren, St Clears, was caught by council environmental enforcement officers dropping a cigarette end onto the ground in King Street, Carmarthen.
She refused to accept a fixed penalty notice and officers told her she would be reported for prosecution for the offence.
It later became clear however that Sutton had given the officers a false name and address.
But by using Facebook, the officers managed to find pictures and a name and then used council tax records to find her address.
Sutton was convicted in absence by Carmarthen magistrates and fined £200 for the offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 plus £200 for giving false details. She was also ordered to pay £179.58 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The council hopes this case will now act as a warning to others that if they are caught dropping litter they too will be prosecuted.
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “The council is serious about punishing people who break the law in this way.
“Our environmental enforcement officers regularly carry out patrols across Carmarthenshire and anyone caught dropping litter will be fined. Giving false details to an officer is also an offence and it does not mean you will get away with it.”
Research shows that smoking-related litter makes up the largest proportion of litter in Carmarthenshire, found on 83% of the county’s streets.
“Cigarette ends are difficult and expensive to clean up as they fall into grates and cracks in the pavement,” added Cllr Jones.
“We don’t want to fine people but we are determined to clean up Carmarthenshire for both residents and visitors.”