Mother fined £ 150 for dropping cigarette butt slams ‘cash cow’ advice for lack of ashtrays

An enraged mother slammed a tip ‘to get the money back’ after being slapped with a £ 150 fine for throwing her cigarette butt on the ground with no ashtrays in sight.

Charlotte Bolt was punched in the wallet by Merton’s advice after dropping her butt on the ground outside Mitcham Eastfields station in south-west London.

She is now calling for the installation of ashtrays outside all of the borough’s stations.

The 45-year-old said she usually doesn’t smoke during the day, but became stressed after being stuck on a bus for 45 minutes due to gasoline shortages on September 27.

“I foolishly thought it wouldn’t affect me because I don’t drive but instead it stressed me out so much that I smoked a cigarette which is quite unusual for me as I only smoke ‘with a glass of wine at the end of the day, “she said.

Charlotte pictured behind a photo of her daughter and her daughter’s late father

She said she was fined by a council enforcement officer as she entered the station in the early afternoon.

Charlotte added that she was late to pick up her 11-year-old daughter, Tayla, who was staying with her grandmother the day before due to the anniversary of her father’s death.

Speaking about the fine, she said: “I remember looking up while smoking and thinking they had a lot of cameras at the station.

“I can only assume that they informed the officer closest to the station because I never saw him until he ran up behind me and patted me on the shoulder.”

Cigarette on the ground outside Eastfields station
Cigarette on the ground outside Eastfields station

She continued, “I told her I was a thoughtful person who never throws out trash and if there had been an ashtray I would have used it.

“I think the council has an obligation to provide ashtrays outside of stations if it is able to fine people like the other councils who all do provide them.”

Charlotte cautioned other commuters to make sure they “don’t get caught” while waiting for a train.

Charlotte said she didn't smoke inside the train station
Charlotte said she didn’t smoke inside the train station

“It must be a cash cow for Merton Council,” she added.

“I know I’ll never do it again. I’ll just put it in my pocket.”

Charlotte said she was unable to pay the fine and the price would drop from £ 100 to £ 150 this week.

“I’m really in financial trouble right now as I just moved and had Tayla’s birthday expenses and I’m still paying for her phone,” she said.

Charlotte said she would never have thrown her cigarette away if there had been an ashtray nearby
Charlotte said she would never have thrown her cigarette away if there had been an ashtray nearby

She went on to say that she had not been granted any formal right to appeal and believes the older generation could be targeted by the council enforcement agents.

“I also think that they are praying for the elderly because it is a new thing that not many elderly people know about,” she added.

“It’s a freedom and a plan to make money through counseling.”

In response, Merton’s council said there were two trash cans with ashtrays located in the immediate vicinity of the station, but Charlotte claims the closest ashtray is at a bus stop, 200 yards from the station. .

A spokesperson for the Merton board said: “We hope that through the continued provision of appropriate bins, continuing education and enforcement, the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued will decrease. Our intention is to prevent waste in the first place and meet the demands of our residents.

“With direct reference to the right of appeal, I can confirm that if at any time during this process the alleged violators have the right to make representation. Upon receipt of any representation, the case is suspended until that the representation is reviewed.

“It is important to note that an FPN is an invitation for you to effectively discharge your legal responsibility.

“This means that although it is not an admission of guilt, you agree that an offense has been committed and that by paying the specified amount of money, no further action will be taken by the board. .

“This method of dealing with offenses not only saves time in pursuing cases through the courts, but the cost associated with a fixed penalty notice is likely to be considerably less than any fine that may be imposed by them. courts.”

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