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Woman conned into paying ‘littering’ fine

A WOMAN who dropped a cigarette butt has been conned into paying a £50 ‘spot penalty’ for littering by a man impersonating an environmental warning.

And the incident has prompted Craigavon Borough Council to issue a warning to the public to be on their guard.

The man told the woman she had to pay an £80 fine for the offence, but if she paid him on the spot he could reduce it to £50.

The lady went to the ATM across the road and paid the man £50.

This incident happened in Lurgan two weeks ago but she only realised what had happened at the weekend when someone advised her that council staff do not take money from offenders on the street.

She reported the incident and the council has been spreading the message through the local media, social networking sites, community groups and organisations to try to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

“This is a very worrying incident and the details have been reported to the PSNI,” commented Alderman Arnold Hatch, chair of the environmental services committee.

“We would like to advise our residents that council staff do not take money on the spot if you are caught littering or allowing your dog to foul. Rather, our environmental wardens will show you their official identification. If you are issued with a  fixed penalty notice, this is then paid to council at a later date. Ayone who is approached and asked for money in these circumstances should contact the PSNI immediately.”

“The fine for dropping litter is £80 and allowing your dog to foul and not cleaning it up is £50. There is no reduction.”

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