MORE than 350 people have been slapped with £75 fines for dropping cigarette butts in Worcester since October, it has emerged.

The litter blitz has seen Worcester City Council dish out a staggering £27,375 in on-the-spot penalties during the last six months.

Of the 365 people caught red handed by an enforcement officer, 352 were for dropping fag ends and 13 for other litter.

Last autumn a sudden crackdown was launched, with one anonymous council worker sent out to spot people dropping litter and fine them.

The figures since then reveal how around 15 people are being fined every single week, racking up an astonishing overall bill.

Shoppers have called the tactic "brilliant", while council chiefs now say it will carry on indefinitely to help Worcester look its best as the warmer weather approaches.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, the city's leader, said: "Our approach to people is that littering is part-education, part-enforcement - but when education 'fails' enforcement is the only answer.

"We all have a responsibility to look after the city and not drop litter."

Halesowen News:

David Sutton, the council's deputy director for cleaner and greener, said: "Worcester is a beautiful clean city and is regularly praised in national surveys for how attractive and well-kept it is.

"Most of us already play a role in keeping our city looking clean, tidy and appealing - it’s only a small minority who still drop litter in the street.

"With the days getting longer as we enter spring, more of us are spending time outside and that’s when we need to give extra thought to making sure we dispose of our litter properly.

"Whether it’s a sandwich wrapper, a cigarette end, a coffee cup or anything else the message is: don’t drop it, bin it."

Shoppers in the city have given support to the tactic, saying people caught out deserve to be fined.

Ian Bradley, 41, an IT worker, said: "I pop down the High Street all the time and it's very clean for the most part, but on weekends it's not quite like that.

"People dropping litter deserve to be fined, the cigarette butts are disgusting - I say fine them more."

Wendy Brimmell, 50, a cafe worker from Lansdowne Crescent, said: "Shame on the people doing it (dropping litter).

Halesowen News:

"I guess many of the people dropping cigarettes either don't live in Worcester, or were never educated on the harm it causes the environment."

The fines are handed out by a worker who carries a body camera, so they have recorded proof of an offence.

People can pay a reduced rate of £40 if they settle the bill within 14 days, with the threat of a court summons for non-payment.