02/01/2016 00:01 GMT | Updated 01/01/2017 05:12 GMT

Plans To Hit Litterbugs With Fines Of Up To £150

Fines for dropping rubbish are set to rise to £150 under plans to hit litter louts "in the pocket".

Ministers are preparing to publish a strategy that will "create a lasting clutter-free legacy for England".

It comes as campaigners leading a nationwide clean up operation in March ahead of the Queen's 90th birthday called on the public to challenge people who drop litter.

Penalties set by councils for offenders range from £50 to £80 but the Department for Communities and Local Government will recommend higher fixed penalties of up to £150, according to The Daily Telegraph. The minimum fine is set to double from £50 to £100, it added.

Communities minister Marcus Jones told newspaper: "Dropping litter is the kind of anti-social behaviour that really gets people's backs up, and rightly so.

"It's thoughtless, selfish and ruins shared spaces for everyone. Not only that, litter clearance and disposal costs hundreds of millions of pounds for councils every year – money that could be going on vital services.

"If litter louts can't put their rubbish in the bin perhaps we can hit them in the pocket instead."

Adrian Evans, chief executive of the Clean for the Queen campaign, said some people thought it was their "human right" to drop rubbish and urged the public to challenge them.

He told the newspaper: "It can be quite a scary thing because you are pointing a finger of blame, you are casting aspersion on the character of the person who has chucked the litter.

"But the way I have done it in the past is to treat it as though they have made a mistake and something has inadvertently fallen out of their bag or pocket. Sort of, 'Oh no, did you mean to drop that?'."