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Giles Kelch, from Faversham, was left up in arms after he was charged a ridiculous amount for dropping a cigarette butt.
Whether you smoke like a chimney or you can't stand the smell, £150 for dropping a cigarette butt seems a bit steep.
Still, that's what one IT worker was charged when he was spotted dropping a stub on the ground in the Swale borough.
Kelch was fined by an enforcement officer on behalf of Swale Borough Council on 29 March.
And the local resident wasn't happy at all, calling the fine 'unethical' and saying that there weren't even enough bins in his area - a fact we can empathise with.
"How can you possibly charge £150 for dropping a cigarette butt, which was subsequently picked up and put in a bin?
“It has hardly ruined the whole of Swale. They are doing this in 2022, with costs and energy prices rising.
“I told them where we live fly-tipping is everywhere, and it gets complained about all the time, but they still don’t stick the resources there."
The council's response didn't help either, with Kelch adding: “Their take was if you’re walking around and there are no bins, you wait until you get home and stick it in the bin.
“There are only bins in the town centre, but once you come out of it, there is nothing.”
The bins were just the tip of the iceberg, though, as Kelch claims there are barely any signs deterring people from littering.
“I said there are no signs stating if you do it, you’ll be fined, and I think that is unethical in the extreme.
“I don’t see how you can charge people who are unaware it will be enforced, if you don’t put any signs up? If you go to a car park and you don’t pay, you know you will be charged."
And, to be fair to the man, he might have a point, as in 2021, 90% of the fines issued by Swale were for discarded cigarette stubs, which amounted to £97,000 for the council.
While that seems pretty steep, a spokesperson for the authority said that it spends more than £1 million every year cleaning the borough.
The spokesperson noted: "Not only do cigarette butts look unsightly but they contain single use plastics and toxic chemicals that can persist in the environment for many years.
“Littering of any kind can receive a fixed penalty notice of £150, and that includes cigarette butts."
So, basically, if you don't want to receive a ridiculous fine, don't smoke in Swale.
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