Written Answers. - Litter Pollution.

Conor Lenihan

Ceist:

260 Mr. C. Lenihan asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government the number of prosecutions in the courts that have been mounted against people for litter offences for the latest year for which figures are available; and the comparable figures for the previous three years. [19112/03]

Conor Lenihan

Ceist:

261 Mr. C. Lenihan asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government the detailed number of prosecutions in the courts against litter offenders; the type of offences involved; and if his Department has figures that can provide a comparison between different local authorities around the country. [19113/03]

Conor Lenihan

Ceist:

262 Mr. C. Lenihan asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government if he will consider making certain types of litter offences punishable by a mandatory jail sentence; and if he has plans to update the law in this area. [19114/03]

Information on the number of prosecutions taken by local authorities in litter offences for 2002 and earlier years is available in the Oireachtas Library in a schedule entitled litter enforcement statistics. This information, together with details of the number of litter wardens employed and on-the-spot fines issued, is compiled by my Department every six months on the basis of statistical returns submitted by all local authorities; however, details of the types of offences involved in prosecutions are not collected by my Department. The Protection of the Environment Bill 2003 provides for increases in fines and introduces conviction on indictment for litter offences. I have no proposals to introduce imprisonment for such offences.