Groningen gets tough on school pupils’ stray sweet papers

Groningen city council plans to get tough on youngsters who throw sweet papers on the ground by making them clean the streets rather than pay a fine.

The council is to increase patrols by street wardens on what it calls snoeproutes (sweet routes) – areas between schools and shops where pupils are mainly responsible for the rubbish.
Last year, Groningen street wardens handed out 140 fines of up to €120 for littering. In the case of young teenagers, parents usually pay the fine, the council said in a statement.
Now, however, teenagers are to be ‘confronted by their behaviour’ through a visit to Bureau Halt, a justice ministry initiative to combat juvenile crime. There they will be given an alternative punishment which fits the crime – cleaning the streets, the council says.
The city council says it cleans up some 2.3 million kilos of street litter every year.
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