Police should ensure that litterbugs are made to pay for their crimes

Dear Editor,
Friday, June 10 will remain a legal landmark in Berbice whereby a litterbug was convicted at the Albion Magistrate’s Court by Magistrate Mittleholzer and was fined ,000 or alternatively one month imprisonment for disposing of garbage in a public place contrary to Regulation 3 of the EPA Act (No 7 of 2013).
Those present in court were completely shocked because they did not realize that such was the severity of the punishment for dumping garbage. One newscaster on TV had said that there was no fine for littering – such is the ignorance of this law!
Tahir Bacchus of Kilcoy Village, Berbice was caught dumping garbage next to the Chesney Cricket Ground at 05:00h in the morning. He was subsequently arrested by the Police after a complaint was filed by me.
It was a tough battle to get this person charged since the Police at Albion were not even aware of the EPA Act under which litterbugs could be charged and even after submitting a copy of the Act to the Police, I had to literally write the charge. However, I must add that the officer-in-charge was very cooperative and gave her full support in order to get the law breaker on trial and hence his conviction.
Another serious form of littering is passengers and drivers throwing garbage out of their vehicle windows. It is quite alarming and dangerous to suddenly see some missiles in the form of food boxes, plastic bottles and cups heading in your direction at high speed or a black plastic bag tinting your windscreen.
Sometimes our reflex action will be to attempt to duck which can cause us to lose control.
Persons who witness these types of littering should take these vehicle numbers down and file complaints with the Police, it is only then that these criminal acts will stop.
I am calling on the Commissioner of Police to ensure that litterbugs are made to pay for their crimes since the billions of dollars expended can be utilized more effectively to foster developmental works. In the same breath, I would like the EPA to once again publicise this criminal act in the media. We need to sensitise the public.
Litterbugs must be made to understand that crime does not pay!

Yours sincerely,
Haseef Yusuf
Chairman – Kilcoy/
Hampshire NDC
RDC Councillor