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A young apprentice has been given an expensive lesson about dropping litter after she was fined more than a week’s wages for chucking a cigarette on the ground.
Smoker Macey Megson was with a group of friends when a council enforcement officer saw her drop the fag butt outside a shopping centre in Hull on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old, who visits the city once a week for her training, offered to go back and pick it up, but the officer said it was too late and handed Macey an on-the-spot fixed penalty notice, reports Hull Live.
“It was raining and really busy as a lot of people were heading inside. I did drop my cigarette and accidentally burnt my hand,” said Macey, who earns £60 on her weekly training days in the city.
“I’m not usually one for littering but I did make a mistake. The woman came after me and my group of friends and asked us ‘Which one of you was smoking?’
“There had been more than just me but I'm honest so I said to her that I had been, so she asked me to wait while she took a few details.”
Macey added: “I gave her my name and address when she asked, and I asked her if she was fining me or something. She told me she'd get to that later on.
“I said I was sorry and offered to go and pick it up and put it in the bin. She just said it was too late for that.”
Macey was hit with a fine of £80 for dropping the ciggie, and it will increase if she doesn’t settle it within 10 days.
A Hull City Council spokesperson said: “Littering of any kind, including throwing cigarette butts onto the floor, is selfish, anti-social and disrespectful to people who throw their litter away in the proper manner. It is also very damaging to the environment.
“More than 70% of streets are affected by smoking litter, particularly at busy spots like high streets or transport hubs.
“People who do not dispose of their litter will be fined in an effort to deter people from littering in the future.”
But Macey said the fine was unfair and it was just a money-making scheme for the council.
“The thing that really annoys me is that the cigarette never got cleared up in the end anyway. I wasn’t allowed to go and pick it up and the woman from the council didn’t go, either.
“It feels like I’ve been punished for being honest more than anything else.”
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