Offenders need a real deterrent
WE'VE been involved since 1996 in trying to do something about litter. There is no real, serious enforcement, and a citizen can walk away from a litter warden because they have no powers.
The litter act specifies that the areas around a property are the responsibility of the property owner or occupier. That means all the litter in a town is adjacent to some property.
Some wardens have been rendered powerless because councils and elected representatives have told them not to fine a ratepayer – a school, a business, a hospital. No local authority, to my knowledge, enforces the law against businesses.
When local authorities go to the courts, it's treated as trivia. Some judges treat it seriously and will impose the maximum fines, but the majority dismiss it.
Naming is a serious deterrent, and I've no doubt it would make a difference.
I think people would really hate to be named as a litter lout and I can't see why it can't be done.
The law is the law. But this law is treated with completed disrespect.
Tom Cavanagh is chairman of Irish Business Against Litter