Smokers court out - 22 smokers caught on buses
Twenty two smokers have been prosecuted by Birmingham City Council and awarded fines varying from £100 to £250, following major covert operations to catch people lighting up on National Express West Midland buses.
Birmingham City Council and National Express West Midlands have been working in partnership for 12 months, observing smokers on the bus and issuing fixed penalty notices of £50 on those who are found smoking on the vehicle.
Over the past month a string of prosecutions have taken place against smokers who refused to pay the penalty. The Final two prosecutions took place at Birmingham magistrate’s court this week, with each offender receiving a criminal record and fines of between £100 and £250.
Councillor Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee, commented:
'The minority of people who continue to smoke on Birmingham’s buses can spoil the experience for the majority. I'm really pleased that Environmental Health, National Express and West Midlands Police are working together to ensure these people are prosecuted. I'm also pleased that the courts have seen fit to levy such high fines to people who blatantly smoke in enclosed public spaces and disrupt fellow passenger’s journeys by behaving in an antisocial manner.”
This latest series of prosecutions follows 56 undertaken privately by National Express West Midlands last year. The region’s largest bus operator is committed to taking a firm stance against the minority of people still disregarding the law. This led to the partnership with Birmingham City Council and Environmental Health to crack down on smokers.
Tony Dallison, Manager of National Express West Midlands’ Safer Travel partnership, comments:“Smoking on buses is not only illegal but unpleasant for other passengers. We take this kind of anti-social behaviour very seriously and are delighted to have successfully prosecuted an additional 14 smokers caught on our buses.”
Customers of National Express West Midlands can text specific details of smoking incidents directly to the Safer Travel team on 07624 818332. This information will be used to identify and target ‘hotspots’ for smoking and anti social behaviour on the bus network.
Tony Dallison continues: “So far, we have been very successful at catching smokers through the Safer Travel partnership. This is down to the commitment of the inspectors and the Safer Travel police team along with continued public support and information.”
Information on the new smoke free law can be found on the Smoke Free UK website:www.smokefreeengland.co.uk