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Litter picks prove popular

More than 150 young people who dropped litter have helped to improve the look of the District as part of a restorative justice initiative.

Anyone caught dropping litter aged 12-17 and who is in full time education, is given the option of taking part in a supervised litter pick as an alternative to paying a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £75.

The total number of FPNs issued to adults and young people in the ten months from April 2011 to February 2012 was 536.

Of these, 157 were young people. All 157 opted to take part in one of 21 separate litter picks rather than pay the FPN.

The one-hour litter picks, which are organised by Neighbourhood Wardens, are held on Saturday mornings and take place on parks and open spaces across the district, which are chosen by the wardens.

Mansfield District Council was one of the first authorities in the country to introduce such a scheme which is now being copied by other councils from across the country.

The vast majority of parents have been very supportive of the initiative.

Failure to attend a litter pick or pay the fine results in prosecution.

Councillor Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said: "Not only is litter unsightly and potentially dangerous, it costs a considerable amount of tax payers' money to clean up. This money could be better spent on improving the local environment.

"We believe the litter picks are much more effective than issuing Fixed Penalty Notices because parents would normally end paying on behalf of their children. This teaches the young people the importance of respecting their environment and the consequences if they do not.

"The success of the scheme is down to the pro active approach the Neighbourhood Wardens take with Fixed Penalty Notices and the excellent work they do."

Published 14 February 2012

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