Children could face litter fines in Oxford

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PCSOs will watch out for litter bugs
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Young people could face £80 fines for dropping litter

Children as young as 10 could be fined for dropping litter in Oxford.

The city council is proposing to extend £80 fixed penalty notices to young people aged 10 to 17 as part of its "zero-tolerence approach" to littering.

At the moment the council can only give a warning to under-18s and repeat offenders are not identified.

Enforcement officers would work with police and the Youth Offending Service to deal with young offenders. A decision is expected on 1 September.

In November 2009, Oxford City Council said it was adopting a zero-tolerance approach to litter enforcement with the launch of Cleaner Greener Oxford in the city centre.

So far the council has issued 449 fines totalling £26,485 and has successfully prosecuted 11 people who failed to pay the fines.

But the council is currently powerless to deal with under-18s and has had to cancel several fixed penalty notices which were wrongly issued to children under the age of 18.

If the proposal goes ahead, it would mean a young person would first be issued with a warning and their details passed to Thames Valley Police.

They would be warned that if they were caught dropping litter again, they could face a fine of £80.