Littering Enforcement Policy

Last updated: 11 May 2022
bottle recycling


Littering is defined as the unauthorised distribution of free printed material, graffiti, fly-posting, and breach of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and are all criminal offences, for which enforcing authorities may bring prosecutions in the magistrates’ courts or may issue fixed penalties in lieu of prosecution.

Fixed penalties can provide enforcing authorities with an effective and visible way of responding to environmental crimes and provide a lower-cost alternative to prosecution in the magistrates’ courts.

The offence of leaving litter, defined in section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as ‘if any person throws down, drops or otherwise deposits in, into or from any place to which this section applies (which is any place in the open air to which public have access without payment and any covered place open on one side to a highway maintained at the public expense), and leaves it’.

This document sets out the Buckinghamshire Council Littering Enforcement Policy ("the policy') which details what residents, businesses, and individuals of Buckinghamshire can expect from Buckinghamshire Council ("the council') when it carries out its regulatory and enforcement functions.

This policy takes into account current principal legislation, including:

(a) The European Convention on Human Rights

(b) The Human Rights Act 1998,

(c) The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

(d) The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

(e) Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996

(f) The Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008

(g) Equality Act 2010

In applying this policy, the council will take account of the Buckinghamshire Council overarching Regulatory Enforcement Policy, any new relevant legislation that applies any amendments to existing legislation and guidance policies from the secretary of state.

This policy also takes into account current statutory guidance or schemes, including:

(a) The Regulators' Code

(b) The Code for Crown Prosecutors

(c) Primary Authority Principle

(d) The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse for England (updated 2019)