Council crackdown on Londonderry litter louts

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Media captionAlmost 200 fines have been issued since October 2012

Thousands of pounds in fines have been issued in a major crackdown on littering in Londonderry.

Derry City Council spends £1.6m on street cleaning every year and has employed three litter wardens to tackle the problem.

Almost 200 on-the-spot fines have been issued since October 2012.

The council's waste services manager, Conor Canning, said signs warning people about the new fines had been put up in the city centre.

"We have deployed huge resources to combat the problem," he said.

"We have additional litter bins and cleansing crews but ultimately we are still faced with litter on the streets. Enforcement is just one way of tackling the problem."

The maximum penalty for littering is £75. That is reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.

More than £14,000 in fines have been issued in the last seven months.

The council has revealed it is considering legal action against a number of people who have refused to pay.

SDLP councillor, Shaun Gallagher, said the council would not tolerate any more littering.

"It is beyond a joke. Millions of pounds of ratepayers' money is spent on people who are too lazy to put litter in a bin," he said.

Dog fouling

"Dog fouling is also a problem and a lot of people have been fined for not cleaning up after their dogs."

Litter fines have been enforced in Belfast for several years.

Almost 7,000 people there have been issued with fines since 2009.