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Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is a penalty payment for committing an environmental crime. Our environmental enforcement officers, from the third-party specialist NSL, are issuing fixed penalty notices to individuals and businesses caught committing environmental crimes. Once the FPN is paid, this stops the penalty from progressing to a registered fine or conviction in some circumstances.

Our team of environmental enforcement officers will be wearing Body Worn Cameras, which will only be switched on when approaching people to issue fines and record conversations. The environmental enforcement officers will also let people know that they are being recorded.

The increase in enforcement activities is part of the Councils Keep Barnet Clean campaign, which aims to catch those who undertake environmental crime. This campaign, which began in July 2016, has been publicised heavily. This has included bus panel posters and six sheet high street posters across the borough, media releases (newspapers), the Barnet Council website and social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.

Environmental crimes that can receive a FPN

Littering: £100
Dropping litter anywhere is an offence. Litter is everything from food packaging to cigarette butts and chewing gum. It can also include feeding birds.

Dog fouling: £100
If your dog fouls in a public place and you fail to pick it up it, it is an offence.

Spitting: £100
It is an offence to spit on public surfaces, roads, pavements or streets.

Urinating: £100
It is an offence to urinate on public surfaces, roads, pavements or streets.

Flyposting: £80
‚ÄčIt is an offence to display advertising material on buildings and street furniture without the consent of the owner.

Fly tipping: £400 (you could also be prosecuted)
Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. It can vary in scale significantly, from a bin bag of rubbish, to larger bulky waste items being dumped, such as mattresses or white goods. 

Commercial waste duty of care: £300
Businesses have a duty of care to ensure their waste is removed by a licensed waste carrier. If we suspect a business is not dealing with its waste responsibly, we can issue a notice requiring the production of waste transfer documents. Failure to produce the documents results in the issue of a fine. Businesses can find out more about their commercial waste responsibilities.

How to pay a fine

Failing to pay the fine may make you liable to conviction for the offence


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I appeal a FPN?

There are no formal grounds of appeal against a FPN. It is an invitation for you to discharge your liability to prosecution. In essence this means that whilst this is not an admission of your guilt, you do agree that an offence has been committed and that by paying the sum of money specified, no further action will be taken by, or on behalf of the Council.

This method of dealing with offences not only saves time involved for everyone in prosecuting cases at court, but the cost associated with a FPN is likely to be substantially lower than any fine imposed by the courts. If you have any mitigating circumstances regarding the FPN you received, then please write to the following address:

NSL Ltd, Environmental Enforcement, PO Box 726, Oldham, OL1 9PB.

Please also use our Keep Barnet Clean feedback form to give us feedback on the campaign. 

What happens if I do not pay the FPN? 

If you do not pay the FPN within 14 days from the date of issue, we will send you a Final Warning Letter to remind you that the payment is overdue. The Final Warning Letter gives you a further 7 days to pay the FPN. If you still do not pay within 7 days after the date of the Final Warning Letter, the case will be referred for prosecution at a magistrate’s court.

Will the Council actually prosecute unpaid FPNs?

Yes, please be aware that the Council is taking a ‘no nonsense’ approach to environmental crime and will prosecute defendants who do not pay their FPNs. Since the environmental enforcement activities commenced in July 2016, approximately 250 individuals have been successfully prosecuted at Court. Fines for these individuals vary, dependent upon the specific circumstances of the case, ranging from £300 -£400.

Why has my business received a FPN for commercial waste duty of care?

Every business has a duty of care to deal responsibly with any waste it produces. Business waste includes any waste coming from: shops and offices, construction, demolition, industry, agriculture, any other commercial activity and includes businesses that are operated from home. This duty of care lasts from the moment you produce the waste, to when it is received by a business that is authorised to deal with it, such as a licenced disposal site or a registered waste carrier.

Environmental enforcement officers, from the third-party specialist NSL, are visiting businesses across the borough to check that every business is dealing with any waste that they produce responsibly. The environmental enforcement officers when visiting a business, can issue a duty of care notice to a business if they suspect that the business is not dealing with the waste they produce in a responsible manner. This duty of care notice requires the business to provide to NSL the following documentation within 7 days:

  • A written description of the waste transferred by the business
  • The transfer note (or copies) for a period of two years from the transfer of the controlled waste

If the business does not provide the documentation to NSL within 7 days, then the business will be issued with a FPN.

How can I ensure that I do not receive a FPN for littering?

Place all litter that you generate in one of the many litter bins provided by the Council across the borough. However, please be aware that it is not feasible for the Council to place litter bins on every street, road and highway across the borough, as this would not be practical or affordable. Every effort is being made to place litter bins across the borough where they are needed. Where bins are not available, then it is up to residents to act responsibly and carry your litter to a bin or take your litter home.

Are cigarette butts littering?

Yes, you can be issued with a FPN for not disposing of your cigarette butts correctly. Care should be taken to avoid any risk of fire and cigarette butts should be completely extinguished before the butt is placed in the bin. On certain litter bins across the borough, primarily in the retail centres, a ‘butt plate’ is provided where the cigarette can be fully extinguished before placing in the bin. However, as a smoker, it also advised that you carry a portable ‘butt bin’ that you can place extinguished cigarette butts in if there is no bin in close proximity.

How do I dispose of dog fouling to ensure I do not receive a FPN?

Please also be aware that dog fouling, once bagged, can be placed in any litter bin across the borough, not only the designated dog fouling bins.

Is the Council targeting specific areas across the borough?

No, environmental enforcement activities have been undertaken on a borough wide basis in areas that were originally approved by the Barnet Council Environment Committee on the 8th March 2016, with specific attention being placed on key retail centres. Locations across the borough that have key transport infrastructures in place; such as Finchley Central, Golders Green and North Finchley, are areas that receive a high number of FPNs due to the large influx of people within these locations. However, the trial is not focusing solely on these areas and it will continue to be operated on a borough-wide basis, ensuring that all areas receive support in terms of litter reduction.

Can Barnet Council issue FPNs?

Yes, the Council has powers from a number of areas including the:

Will Barnet Council make money from issuing FPNs?

Primarily, the income derived from the FPNs will be used to fund the service. The Barnet Council Environment Committee that was held on the 15th March 2017, approved the procurement of a further street scene enforcement contract, with the view of an income share model.


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