Environmental Crime (FPN) Environmental Crime Management

It's easy to pay your Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

Find answers to frequently asked questions and information on your rights.

If you don’t agree with the circumstances in which you have received an FPN, you have the right to Submit a Representation. Find answers to frequently asked questions and information on your rights.

Pay my FPN

Pay online, on the phone, via bank transfer or by check/postal order.

PLEASE NOTE – Before you start, have your Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) number ready.


Call our automated 24 hour payment line on

0203 131 3801

Payment should take less than five minutes.

Calls are charged at 5p per minute from standard BT lines. Mobile phone rates may vary. District Enforcement makes no profit from calls to this number. All calls are recorded for audit, training and quality purposes. Make sure you have a valid credit or debit card ready for payment.

Payzone/Post Office

You may use the barcode on your FPN to make cash payment at any Post Office or Payzone counter.

Please ensure that the barcode is readable to ensure that the payment will be reconciled correctly.  Please not that the appropriate FPN amount must be made – there is no option to make partial payments or setup a payment plan using the barcode.

Submit a Representation

There are no formal grounds of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

This is because an FPN is an invitation for you to discharge your liability to criminal prosecution. This is not an admission of guilt, but you agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying the sum of money specified no further action will be taken by the Local Authority. More information can be found in the FAQs.

Guidelines to be aware of before proceeding with your representation:

  • Representation must be made in writing, and supported with evidence, to the Local Authority email address detailed on your FPN
  • Your representation must be received within 28 days of a notice being issued

Environmental Crime FAQs (Know your rights)

FPNs give you the opportunity to discharge your criminal liability as an alternative to prosecution.

FPNs are utilised for a range of offences, such as littering, fly-tipping, graffiti, spitting and urinating.

They may also be used to deal with anti-social behaviour, such as breaches of Public Space Protection Orders.

They are an important tool in dealing with high volume, lower severity crimes – providing redress for the offence committed without overloading the Courts.

The amount is set by the Local Authority using the current guidelines for penalty notice levels.

The applicable penalty amounts will be shown on the Fixed Penalty Notice and any reminder letters.

No. There are no formal grounds of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). This is because a FPN is an invitation for you to effectively discharge your liability to prosecution.

This is not an admission of guilt, but you agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying the sum of money specified no further action will be undertaken by the Local Authority.

This method of dealing with offences not only saves time for everyone (including the offender) in prosecuting cases at court, but the cost of an FPN is likely to be substantially lower than any fine imposed by the courts. For example, the maximum fine which can be imposed by the courts for littering is £2,500.

You have the opportunity to represent your case through formal prosecution via the criminal courts.

It will then be up to a court, on receiving evidence, to determine whether or not an offence was committed, and if any penalty should still be imposed. However, be aware that a financial penalty imposed by the courts may be significantly higher than the penalty imposed through an FPN.

The Local Authority is not required to place signs in every street, road, highway, park or open space telling people not to litter or informing them that litter patrols are operating in the area.

Litter legislation has been in force for many years and littering in many parts of the UK is at such levels that Local Authorities across the country are now actively issuing FPNs in order to drive the message home to those who continue to spoil towns and cities by carelessly discarding their rubbish.

The Local Authority (Council) will usually notify the public via media campaigns, however the legal position is that ignorance is no excuse.

Where litter or dog bins are not available, it is up to everyone to act responsibly and make arrangements to either take their litter home or carry it until a bin is available.

It is not feasible for Local Authorities to put bins on every street, road and highway in a borough.

Though every effort is made to place bins where they are most needed and where there are the greatest levels of pedestrian footfall, such as in Town Centres, major shopping areas, parks and open spaces. Dog poo, once bagged, may be placed in any litter bin in a borough.

It is considered littering.

Litter is not specifically defined in law, but guidance from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2006) states: ‘Litter is best defined as something which is improperly discarded by members of the public in an area. It includes sweet wrappers, drinks containers, cigarette ends, gum, apple cores, fast food packaging, till receipts, small bags … ’

In many ways these items are more of a nuisance and more expensive to clean up than other items of rubbish.

Smokers are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in a litter bin.

Cigarette waste is classed the same as any other waste in terms of litter laws, and you can be issued with an FPN for not disposing of cigarette ends properly.

There is no reason why smokers (who are aware that their habit requires them to dispose of their cigarette waste) cannot carry portable ‘butt bins’. People can easily create their own by placing some soil or sand in a small tin.

Thousands of pounds of public money has been spent on awareness campaigns for many years.

Organisations like Keep Britain Tidy do an excellent job of reminding us of the anti-littering message. But all the publicity in the world is of no use whatsoever if the message is ignored.

Therefore, District Enforcement Environmental Crime Officers are employed to support and enforce the littering laws on behalf of the Local Authority, targeting those who choose to ignore a message which is understood by the vast majority of the public.

Officers are tasked to areas of highest demand and will patrol wherever there is evidence of offending.  They use local intelligence and crime pattern analysis to plan their patrol routes and target offending hotspots.

Each Local Authority has different problem areas, so whether it is a playing field popular with dog walkers or a busy Town Centre, Officers will be deployed to provide high visibility patrols and deal with offences they witness.

You can make a representation to explain your circumstances.

This will be reviewed and you may be granted a time extension to pay the FPN. All contact details will be provided on the FPN issued and all subsequent correspondence sent.

If you do not pay the FPN, the offence may be prosecuted by the Local Authority and the appropriate punishment determined in the criminal court.

Yes. All exemptions are determined by the enforcement policy of the Local Authority and normally included within the legislation.

Additionally, some Local Authorities include additional exemptions, such as children and elderly members of the community.

All District Enforcement Environmental Crime Officers adhere to the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuge.

Their powers of authority are provided by the Local Authorities who have appointed District Enforcement, with clearly defined parameters of authority.

Environmental Crime Officers are obliged to enforce all legislation in accordance with the law, in-line with the enforcement policy of the Local Authority.

Yes. All District Enforcement Officers are screened and vetted in compliance with British Standard 7858:2012.  Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are undertaken on all Officers to ensure only suitable individuals are employed in the role.

This is set out in either a contract or Service Level Agreement (SLA) with each Local Authority, and is signed off by both parties prior to any patrol deployment.

No. District Enforcement Environmental Crime Officers are not given any form of bonus or target to meet regarding the issuing of FPNs. They are paid a fixed hourly rate and only issue an FPN for offences they have witnessed.

Body worn cameras are used to protect the public and our Officers from being subject to spurious complaints or intimidation by offenders seeking to avoid paying the penalty issued.

The cameras are only switched on at the point an Officer introduces him/herself to an alleged offender, and it is explained why the camera is in operation. The camera is turned on during the conversation only.

The footage can then either be served as evidence or unused material dependent upon the prosecution policy of the Local Authority.

The decision always lies with the Local Authority.

District Enforcement’s Environmental Crime Officers are specialists in their field.

They receive intensive introductory training and ongoing professional development to maintain the high standards required by the Local Authorities they serve.

Body worn camera footage of every interaction between Officers and members of the public ensure all interactions are recorded.

Any complaints against Officers can be made using the contact details on the Fixed Penalty Notice.  All complaints are investigated in line with established procedures.

Links to related legislation and reference