Tough look at litterbugs

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 November, 2004, 12:00am

Officials are seeking legislators' views on toughening littering penalties for repeat offenders, including bigger fines and community service orders.

About 1.7 per cent of people fined for cleanliness offences, such as littering, spitting and dog-fouling, are repeat offenders, according to a Health, Welfare and Food Bureau document tabled for discussion at Legco next Tuesday.

Since the fixed penalty was increased from $600 to $1,500 in June last year, 32,000 fines had been issued up to the end of September this year.

Among the litterbugs, 555 were repeat offenders, of which 497 committed offences twice and 58 three times or more. And more than half the repeat offences were for littering.

The Legco document asks legislators of the Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene panel to consider whether new penalties for repeat cleanliness offenders should be pursued.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said yesterday the government had no intention of criminalising any of the four cleanliness offences.