From Iceland — Against On-The-Spot Fining For Littering

Against On-The-Spot Fining For Littering

Published July 25, 2011

The Minister of the Interior opposes a proposal from Reykjavík city council that would give police the authority to issue fines on the spot for littering.
Mayoral deputy Regína Ásvaldsdóttir recently told Vísir that the idea had been bandied about in city hall. Sweden recently passed a similar law, whereby a police officer catching someone littering can issue fines of about 14,000 ISK on the spot. However, in order for this to work in Iceland, the law would need to be changed to give the police this authority in the first place.
Vísir now reports that Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson is less than enthusiastic about the idea.
The minister expressed concerns about the idea of expanding police powers to allow them to issue immediate fines. Instead, he would rather that education about the importance of being environmentally conscious be increased.
Although littering is a common occurrence in Iceland – as most anywhere else in the world – Ögmundur would rather avoid using the police to confront the issue. “This is not a problem that will be solved with fines,” he said.

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