TAKING a shopping trolley off a retailer's land could now land people with a fixed penalty fine of £100.

That's the warning from Sunderland City Council in a response to resident complaints as it looks to get tough on the blight of abandoned shopping trolleys.

In the last two years more than 30,000 shopping trolleys found abandoned in Sunderland have been collected and returned to stores by Trolleywise, the national scheme set up to retrieve abandoned shopping trolleys and reduce their loss from shops.

This has prompted the council to launch a crackdown in Washington, where it is a particular problem.

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This will see the council using new powers to issue £100 fixed penalty notices to anyone caught removing a shopping trolley from retailers' premises at the Galleries Shopping Centre and Peel Retail Park.

Councillor Claire Rowntree, the council’s deputy leader, said: "Abandoned shopping trolleys can be a real blight on our communities.

“Very often they end up abandoned at the side of the road where they can be a danger to traffic and cyclists.

"We've had reports of them being dumped in children's play areas where they may result in children being injured, and in our woods and greenspaces, where they can have a detrimental impact on nature and wildlife.

“We also know of cases where they have been used for illegal fly-tipping.

“So this is very much about us listening to complaints from residents and taking enforcement action in response."

The new powers were introduced as part of the council's 2021 renewal of its citywide Public Spaces Protection Order.

Initially the new restrictions will apply only to the removal of trolleys from Galleries Shopping Centre and Peel Retail Park in Washington.

Warning signs have been put in place near the exit points of both these shopping areas advising people that they must not remove the trolleys and of the possible penalties if they do so.


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