Increased fines to tackle waste crime in Tower Hamlets


Fines for waste crime are increasing

People responsible for fly-tipping, littering, graffiti, and other environmental offences in Tower Hamlets will now face higher fixed penalty notice (FPN) fines. 

As part of the council’s commitment to a cleaner and greener borough, the increase to FPNs will be an additional and more effective deterrent to reduce environmental crimes that are illegal, antisocial and a blight on the borough. The changes will see: 

  • The maximum fine for fly-tipping increase from £400 to £1000, with an early payment discount of £500. 

  • Littering will now carry a maximum fine of £500, increased from £80, with an early payment discount of £250. 

  • Both fly-posting and graffiti will carry a maximum fine of £500, increased from £80, with an early payment discount of £250. 

  • Households who fail to responsibly dispose of their waste (known as a duty of care offence) will face maximum fines of £600, increased from £200, with an early payment discount of £300. 

The new, higher FPNs come into effect today, Monday 20 May. 

The council takes an education and engagement first approach with residents, businesses and visitors, sharing information on proper disposal of waste and running environmental communication campaigns, however, where these measures fail harsher enforcement action will now be taken. 

Last year (2023/24) there were 6,700 reports of fly-tipping in the borough. The estimated cost of clearance, disposal and investigation of those reported fly-tips was over £2million.  

There were 1,020 reports of graffiti (2023/24), although this does not reflect the full scale of the problem across Tower Hamlets. It is estimated that the council currently spends more than £200,000 cleaning up graffiti.  

The council continues to invest in delivering improved waste, recycling and cleansing services. In April independent monitoring of litter and graffiti began, carried out in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy. 

Lutfur Rahman, Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: 

“With increased fines now in place we are cracking down on those responsible for environmental crimes. We know offences like fly-tipping, littering and graffiti affect our borough and divert vital council resource and funding to deal with them. 

“Anyone responsible for these kinds of offences, be it individuals or businesses, will now face tougher penalties. With harsher enforcement action, we are sending the message that these antisocial crimes will not be tolerated in our borough.” 

Cllr Shafi Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Environment and the Climate Emergency, said: 

“This increase in fixed penalty notices is just one area where we’re taking action to improve the public realm across Tower Hamlets.  

“We’re working hard to drive forward improvements to our waste service, increase rates of recycling and operate better street cleansing. All these environmental enhancements will increase resident satisfaction and deliver value for money for our vital services.” 

  • More information about ways residents can get rid of waste responsibly can be found online: 

  • Businesses who need more information about managing waste can visit: 
  • Cabinet approved the increase to FPNs on 27 March 2024 

Posted on Monday 20th May 2024