A woman has been fined £1,500 after a cigarette was thrown out of her car window, in a clampdown on so-called “grime crime”.
Council enforcement officers caught a driver dropping the butt out of the window of Maurine Bateesa's Nissan Duke through east London.
But the car’s owner failed to provide details of who was driving at the time, forcing Barking and Dagenham Council to slap her with a hefty fine.
She was issued with legal notice to say who was behind the wheel at the time, and despite receiving a notice of intended prosecution, she didn’t respond and the case was referred to court.
Bateesa, from Barking, failed to enter a plea at Barkingside Magistrates' Court at a hearing held on 13 December.
In her absence, she was ordered to pay a £660 fine, as well as costs of £840 to the council and a £66 victim surcharge.
Cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, councillor Syed Ghani, said: “The simple fact is this person is littering.
"It doesn’t matter if it’s a cigarette butt or a black bag. It’s a criminal act and we will not tolerate people treating our borough like a dumping ground.
“Grime crime is something our residents have told us is a top issue for them, which is why we take a zero-tolerance approach against those we catch in the act, and why we have increased our patrols and surveillance in problem areas.
“This person has learned an expensive lesson and we hope it sends a message to others in our borough.”
Disposing of a cigarette onto the public highway is a littering offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Despite the potential of being heavily fined, some smokers are continuing to light up where they shouldn’t be.
In Scotland, pictures of the entrance of the University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride, near Glasgow, shows stack of cigarette butts being left in a zone where smoking is banned.
Smoking within 15-metres of the perimeter of NHS hospital buildings has been prohibited in Scotland in an attempt to stop smoke drifting through doorways, windows and vents.
One patient who suffers from chest issues described the offenders as “selfish” and said more needs to be done to stop them.