600 litter complaints

A TINY friction of complaints from the public about dumping and littering ended up with someone being convicted in court last year.

A TINY friction of complaints from the public about dumping and littering ended up with someone being convicted in court last year.

Laois County Council figures reveal that more than 612 complaints were “logged and actioned” last year. Some 183 fines were issued with 39 people prosecuted. In total, 3.4 per cent or 21 complaints resulted in convictions.

The figures are contained in a report by Anna Marie Delaney to the Laois Joint Policing Committee last week. To date in 2012, 53 cases have been reported and investigated and 19 fines issued. Three people have been taken to court while one person has been convicted.

Ms Delaney said that despite using a ‘carrot and stick approach’, illegal dumping continues to spoil the landscape. She said council has a lead role in combating the problem the public has a responsibility. She encouraged people to have ‘zero tolerance’ approach and report dumping. The council official said complaints only represent a small portion of the Litter Wardens’ workload.

While she accepted that public order offences are that main priority of the gardai she said the have been given police help to deal with litter offences out of hours. She said fine books have been issued to garda stations but few fines have issued. She praised the police for being instrumental in checkpoints, house visits and other action.

She listed the various measures taken to tackle litter such as clean up Laois Week.

Cllr James Daly said the litter problem getting worse by the week. “It’s absolutely ferocious the amount of legal dumping that is taking place,” he said.

Cllr Seamus McDonald blamed young people throwing litter out of windows on their way back from nightclubs.

Cllr Paddy Bracken said more should be done to tackle dumping out of hours. He added dog fouling to the list which he said was also an ‘out of hours problem’.

Cllr John King called for CCTVs to catch dumpers.