Dec 19, 2013 News
– Department is currently constrained by limited human resources
A total of 269 persons have been fined for littering and illegal dumping of garbage for this year, according to Chief Constable Andrew Foo.
Foo said that despite the lack of resources, the council has been actively prosecuting persons and placing them before the courts for littering and dumping.
During an interview with Clean & Green Guyana/ Guyenterprise, Foo said that the fine for any magnitude of littering or dumping is $10,000 or an alternative of three months’ imprisonment, community service or any other measure that the presiding magistrate sees fit for the offender.
Foo explained that arrests are made when offenders are caught in the act of littering or dumping by constables. Any citizen who witnesses dumping can also make a report. In such cases, “they are called the eyewitnesses and they would be required to issue a statement for the report they make.”
He said that constables would use their judgment whether to caution or fine persons, depending on the size of their litter.
Underscoring that the issue of enforcement for solid waste management is one in which they have been addressing aggressively; Foo said their department is currently constrained due to limited human resources.
In terms of authorized strengths, some 316 ranks would be adequate to efficiently carry out the constabulary’s mandate but it is currently working with some 170 ranks to monitor markets and other commercial areas.
The Chief Constable explained that ranks would usually stake out common dumping sites to catch defaulters but noted that this inevitably results in the litterbugs shifting to other locations.
The concern about lack of mobility for the constabulary was also raised by the Chief Constable. He noted that there is no functioning vehicle for the council to carry out its daily duties.
“For us to respond to reports there is a need for ranks to be mobile, we cannot have ranks out there on the ground and if they are expected to arrest persons, there’s no means of transportation to get to the area where the report was made and then to arrest the person and move them to the station.”
The articles that govern the institution of these fines are the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:07, section 277 4 C – which states that anybody who throws litter on the Council roads must be arrested and fined, and the Summaries Jurisdiction Offences Act Chapter 8:02, which speaks to minor offences committed and gives constables the power to arrest anyone who litters or dumps refuse improperly.
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