It's not easy to prosecute

PUBLISHED: 12:40 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 31 May 2010

IN REPLY to recent letters suggesting that Saffron Walden Town Council should teach litter louts a lesson, I want to explain that it is not as easy as you might think to get a successful prosecution – this is particularly due to the need for independent w

IN REPLY to recent letters suggesting that Saffron Walden Town Council should teach litter louts a lesson, I want to explain that it is not as easy as you might think to get a successful prosecution - this is particularly due to the need for independent witnesses.

Although the council will be adopting powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, there are still difficulties in witnessing the littering and imposing on-the-spot-fines.

Of course, the council could appoint a two-man litter patrol as one of your readers has suggested, but this would have serious financial consequences for the local council tax payer, and the council doesn't think that's the best way to spend your money.

The council is appointing an extra member of staff over the summer to assist with cleaning The Common.

Whatever the minority of litter louts do, The Common is a wonderful space and should be clean so that everybody can use and enjoy it - especially during the school holidays.

It's easy to blame the council, but it's not the one dropping the litter! So either bin your litter or take it home - and encourage others to do the same.

Leaving litter is a criminal offence and as a community we can't just stand by and let it happen. The public needs to make it obvious to litter louts that this is unacceptable and must help the council by coming forward as witnesses to this anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Hilary Shibata

Mayor of Saffron Walden

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