NUMBERS of fixed penalty notices issued for dumping litter in Keighley district have slumped, we can reveal.
Just 24 people have received tickets in more than two years.
But only eight of those offenders have been brought to book in the past 15 months.
There have been just two prosecutions, both resulting in the defendants being found guilty.
Bradford Council released the figures in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Keighley News.
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said he hoped the drop was not down to a more lax approach by the local authority.
“Littering is a continuing problem in Keighley, and I am contacted regularly by residents who are understandably upset by this,” he said.
“I have neither time nor sympathy for people who drop litter, and am fully supportive of legal proceedings being taken against those who break the law. If individuals have to go to court to learn their lesson, then so be it.”
The figures show that in 2012-13, 16 fixed penalty notices were issued for littering across the six council wards Keighley Central, Keighley East, Keighley West, Bingley Rural, Craven and Worth Valley. They resulted in total payments of £475.
One person taken to court was fined £50 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £270 in costs.
In 2013-14 and the first three months of the current financial year, eight fixed penalty notices were served, with payments totalling £200. There was also one court prosecution, which resulted in a £200 fine and the payment of a £20 victim surcharge and £400 in costs.
Four fixed penalty notices – two of them issued in the first year – couldn’t be followed up because the council was unable to trace the alleged culprits, and in one case because the witness refused to provide a formal statement.
Town mayor, Coun Graham Mitchell, viewed the drop in numbers as a positive. “We have a collective responsibility to keep the town tidy,” he added.
“And where an area looks attractive, such as Town Hall Square, people tend to respect that and don’t drop litter.”
David Petyt, for Keighley in Bloom, saidthere was a minority of people who didn’t think it was their responsibility to clean-up after themselves.
But he added: "I’ve had the job for the past ten years of preceding the Yorkshire in Bloom judging party and picking up litter around the route, and this year I was amazed how clean the streets were."
"“Some of it I credit to the council for having a massive clean up for the Tour de France, which got rid of lots of old stuff.”
Coun Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment and sport, said: urges everyone to deal with their litter responsibly.
“Either take it home or use the bins provided,” he said.
“The council’s emphasis is on everyone’s responsibility to keep the streets and public places as clean and tidy as possible – not to issue penalty charge notices or take people to court – but if that is the only way to prevent persistent offenders who spoil the environment for everyone else, that is what we will do.”
Council wardens and police community support officers are empowered to issue fixed penalty notices to anyone they see dropping litter or not clearing up immediately after their dog has fouled.
Also, the council’s environmental enforcement team follows up on reports from members of the public who have witnessed littering or fouling.
Text incidents to 07786 208100 or call 01274 431000.