Woman fined for dropping cigarette butt blasts local council for targeting ‘small’ problem


A woman says her local council should focus on ‘other issues’ after she was fined £100 for dropping a cigarette butt. Caroline Dawson of Grimsby was driving her parents’ car when she threw a cigarette butt out the window, but says there are far worse problems within the community.

Caroline insists she has always been a law-abiding citizen who has never littered and claims the fine is ‘excessive’ for a ‘small’ problem with fly tipping on her local estate. Caroline was driving on Grimsby Road on March 21 when she threw a cigarette butt out the window. A few days later, her parents received a form in the mail asking who was driving the car and who was insured to drive it.

Caroline told Grimsby Live: “I don’t think there were any cameras, I think it must have been someone behind me doing surveillance. It was around 3.30pm and I think I was from Aldi on Cleethorpe Road, and I was in my parents’ car.#

Caroline Dawson drove her elderly parents’ car

“They don’t smoke, and I don’t usually smoke in their car, but I had one. I rolled down the window and had to throw my ass out the window and be photographed or by someone from watch behind me.

“I remember having a cigarette in the car, but I was rushing as usual. It’s not something I would usually do because in my partner’s car we use the ashtray. I don’t wouldn’t usually do that in their car, so just the second I do that, I got caught.

“My mum and dad were worried and they sent the form back to say it was me driving and not them, and now I’m just waiting for a response. The actual form came from a place of execution at Doncaster It happened out of the blue days later.

“I felt it was my bad luck because I was just thinking, a little ass and a £100 fine. What angers me is I live on the Nunsthorpe, my partner lives on the Nunsthorpe , and there are so many other issues out there. Seems rather petty to have such a hefty fine.

Caroline said she has always been a law-abiding citizen who never threw away
Caroline said she has always been a law-abiding citizen who never threw away

“Given the state of many streets and areas, not just the Nunsthorpe, fly tipping that is happening, I’m sure people are doing a lot worse and not getting caught, or it’s not being prosecuted. I “I’ve always been a law-abiding citizen, I don’t litter or anything like that. I guess if I had been flagged at the time and it had been reported, and it was something like a £20 or £20.30 fine on the spot, it would be different. It seems so heavy.

“I admit the offense was a spur of the moment, but I’m angry at all the other ongoing offenses – larger offenses – that go undetected. While I agree with the deterrence, it is rather excessive when there are so many other issues that are not being addressed.”

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: ‘Littering is an anti-social and criminal act and will not be tolerated. With 979 garbage bins in convenient locations around the borough, you’re never far from a bin.

“There is absolutely no excuse for littering litter, including cigarettes, anywhere in North East Lincolnshire and you should ensure your cigarette is fully extinguished before you dispose of it. People littering makes the place unsightly and it’s up to others to clean up after them. Law enforcement officers patrol the borough regularly and anyone caught littering faces a £150 fine.

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