A North East council has removed early pay discounts for offences including dog fouling in a major crackdown on environmental offences.

Durham County Council has today announced that it is scrapping early payment discounts on fixed penalty notices (FPNs) on environmental offences.

This includes fines issued for things including fly-tipping, dropping litter, dog fouling, abandoning vehicles and ignoring notices to clear waste.

Offenders will now not see their £400 and £180 FPNs for littering reduced at all, with the council calling this move “tough enforcement” after they issued almost 2,000 fines in 2022/23.

Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “By scrapping early payment discounts we are sending out a firm message that fly-tipping and other environmental offences will not be tolerated here.

“We do try to educate and engage wherever possible, but it’s important to back that up with tough enforcement. We know our communities care very deeply about these issues and that they expect us to pursue offenders and take firm action against them.

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“Figures released earlier this year confirmed that fly-tipping in the county is at its lowest level ever, while the number of fines issued has increased. We want to build on that success and scrapping the early payment discounts strengthens our hand in that regard.

“We expect that we will carry out a further review of FPN levels as the government is giving councils powers to lift maximum fines across the board, with the fly-tipping maximum rising from £400 to £1,000 and littering from £150 to £500.

“That’s something we’re very much interested in exploring as we continue to tackle the minority who blight our communities.”