Freedom of information response

FPNs for Littering sent to incorrect address

Publication date: 
Thursday 7 December 2023

My Freedom of Information Request relates to FPNs for Littering, so that I can understand the effectiveness of the process that District Enforcement use to establish the identity and address of the
offender. My concern is that too many innocent people are being incorrectly sent FPNs through the post to their own address (although the name on the letter is not their own – rather, it’s the offender’s name), causing
unnecessary worry and effort to sort out the problem.
District Enforcement have informed me that “our officers, where possible, ask the offenders for a form of ID.
Failing that, we have the use of a system where we can trace an individual based on the details given”. They go on to say “sometimes offenders do provide a false address. In these circumstances, we advise residents to
return any mail that is not addressed to them” (in terms of the name on the envelope).
What I am interested in is the numbers of FPNs issued for littering which are cancelled due to incorrect / false address provided by the offender.
Because I am not certain of what information you hold, I have drafted out a possible table of information below.
Thurrock 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
total Total FPNs issued for littering x x x
a Cancelled - all reasons x x x
Incl above Cancelled due to false / incorrect address x x x
b Fine paid (either fully or at discount) x x x
c Prosecution (successful or not) x x x
d ??? not covered above ??? x x x
I assume a+b+c+d = total
Are the total FPNs issued for littering covered by rows / categories a, b and c in the table – or is there a further category d that I am unaware of, please? If so, I’d be grateful if you could include that.
Is the main reason for Cancellation the fact that the address given by the offender (and accepted by District Enforcement) turns out to be false / incorrect? If it is possible to break down Cancellations into different reasons,
that would be very useful. I’m mainly interested in Cancellations due to the offender having given a false / incorrect address, where ultimately an innocent person is forced to sort the problem out.


Total FPNs issued for littering x 7809

a Cancelled - all reasons x 1572

Reasons for cancellation, each record would need to be reviewed manually to determine the reason for cancellation as this is not immediately obvious.  Assuming 5 minutes to review the cancelled reason, notes and record the reason we would need 131 hours to complete the request, this would exceed the 18 hours allocated to the request.

Incl above Cancelled due to false / incorrect address Data Not Held

b Fine paid (either fully or at discount) fines are set at data not recorded solely for littering

c Prosecution (successful or not) There have been 357 successful prosecutions  

d??? not covered above ??? x x x

I assume a+b+c+d = total  Yes they are all covered.

Request reference:
FOI 13231