Littering and dog fouling fines

Paying a fine

You can pay using the online form:

We accept payment using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay and Google Pay:

We accept payment using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay and Google Pay

Or telephone via our contact centre: 01903 851729. Note: You will need your Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) at hand when calling.

What the fines are for, and an explanation of the law

Anyone caught dropping litter, including cigarette butts, chewing gum, or not picking up after their dog in Adur and Worthing will face a fine under a litter enforcement scheme running from July 2021. This is in response to local residents and businesses stating that street cleanliness is important.

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is issued under either the Environment Protection Act 1990 or the Cleaner Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. They will be issued in situations where an authorised officer of the councils has witnessed or has proof that someone has committed an environmental crime. These include littering, dog fouling, graffiti and flyposting

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How much are the fines?

The fixed penalty notice (FPN) fines are as follows:

  • Litter - £75.00
  • Failing to clean up and pick up after your dog - £100.00

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Zero tolerance policy

The scheme operates on a zero tolerance policy. There is no formal right to appeal against a fixed penalty notice (FPN). If you do not agree that you committed the offence, you can decide not to pay the FPN, and the matter will then be decided by a court. It will then be up to the court, on receiving the evidence, to determine whether an offence was committed and therefore whether any penalty should be imposed. The maximum penalty on conviction is:

  • £2,500 for litter, or
  • £1,000 for dog fouling

As this is expensive and time consuming for both parties, we have introduced an internal appeals process to help resolve disputes before they get to court. Such challenges can be made within 14 days of the issue of the FPN.

Cases where a challenge may be considered favourably include, but are not limited to instances where you can demonstrate that:

  • No offence was committed, or the fixed penalty notice has been wrongly issued; for example where a dog control order didn't apply, or the person had exception under the law
  • The offence was committed by someone else
  • The offence wasn't the fault of the person against whom the notice was served, and there was nothing they could do to prevent the offence
  • We shouldn't have served the notice because the offender is under 18, or is physically or mentally incapacitated or has some other incapacity that prevent them from understanding that they committed an offence
  • There are significant extenuating circumstances that temporarily affected the ability of the person to comply with the law
  • Serving the notice is not considered to be in the public interest - but don't forget, we have a duty to enforce the law - and fixed penalty notices are designed to be a quick and easy way to deal with minor offences

There are a range of reasons where an appeal will not be considered and these include:

  • Ignorance of the law - the test would be whether a reasonable person would be aware that an offence had been committed - most people know that dropping litter and allowing their dogs to foul is wrong!
  • You didn't know an offence had been committed - the test would be whether a reasonable person would have known what had happened - for example, this includes knowing where your dog is and what it is doing so that you can clear up any mess it leaves
  • You couldn't prevent the offence - the test would be whether a reasonable person could have taken steps to prevent the offence occurring - for example by keeping your dog under control so that it doesn't enter a banned area
  • It's not in the public interest to pursue the offence - although these are minor offences, the levels of litter, dog mess etc are something that concern local residents, and Adur & Worthing Councils need to respond to these concerns by making sure the law is enforced. The authority also spends a lot of money cleaning the streets, and anything we can do to stop litter, dog mess, etc, helps us to do this more effectively.

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How do we deal with informal appeals?

Only appeals made in writing can be considered.

Please quote the reference number shown on the FPN that is prefixed 'AW' and is 10 characters long, for example: AW12345678.

Appeals can be made by:


Or writing to:

Recycling, Refuse and Waste,
Adur & Worthing Council Services,
9 Commerce Way,
Lancing Business Park,
West Sussex,
BN15 8TA

Any contact / complaints / appeals must be made in writing to Adur & Worthing Councils.

All representations must be made in writing, representations cannot be made in person or by telephone.

Every appeal will:

  • Be considered on its merits, on the basis of the information and evidence provided by the person who received the FPN and the enforcement officer who issued the FPN.
  • Receive a full written response, normally within 10 working days. Where a more detailed investigation is required, appeals will be acknowledged in writing with an indication on when you can expect a full response.

Where appeals are not upheld, the reasons for this will be explained, a further 14-day period given for payment will be given and details of the councils' complaint procedure will be provided.

The funding of the scheme comes directly from fines, rather than from the councils' budget. The councils target problem-areas within the Adur and Worthing.

The aim of the scheme is to:

  • Reduce litter
  • Encourage people to clean up after their dogs
  • Raise awareness that dropping litter or failing to clean up after their dogs may result in a fine

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Reporting littering and dog fouling hotspots

If you know of a litter or dog fouling hotspot which would benefit from a visit from our officers, see:

Alternatively you can contact the waste and recycling department (see details at the end of this page).

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FAQ - littering and enforcement

What is litter?

Litter is anything that is thrown down or dropped and then left. This includes: cigarette ends, cigars, chewing gum, sweet wrappers and food containers.

What are the fines for littering?

If you are caught dropping litter, which includes dog waste bags, you will receive an on the spot fine of £75.00.

If you are caught not clearing up your dog's mess, you will receive an on-the-spot fine of £100.

If the fines are not paid and a case goes to court, the maximum penalty for littering is £2,500, and £1,000 for dog fouling.

Why is littering a problem?

We live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the country and yet we have to spend tax payers' money keeping our district clean and tidy.

We believe that if we could reduce fly-tipping, dog fouling and littering, some of that money could be saved and spent on more important community services.

How can I help reduce litter?

Please dispose of all litter responsibly - either put it in a bin or take it home.

You can help reduce roadside litter by not throwing litter out of your vehicle window and keeping a bag in your car to collect rubbish.

Also ensure your vehicle load is secure before setting off on your journey and always take large household rubbish to your local tip or use a registered waste disposal company.

Finally, report any hotspot areas for dog fouling, littering or fly-tipping.

How can I report extensive littering?

Report any fly-tipping to the councils, see:

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Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:

Page last updated: 11 April 2024

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