Bexley's controversial litter police are going to offer people who drop cigarette butts help to quit smoking.

Residents caught dropping cigarettes will be issued with a fine - but provided they live in Bexley they will be offered a 50 per cent discount if they can complete the council's Stop Smoking programme.

Cigarette litter makes up over 94 per cent of all fines issued by Kingdom officers in Bexley.

The offender will have to pay the fine before being able to take advantage of the scheme.

Councillor Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, said: "If a smoker quits, they will benefit in three ways: through an improvement in their health, by eliminating the risk of a further fine for cigarette related littering and the 50 per cent refund of their fine."

Bexley Council came under scrutiny earlier this year after it was revealed Kingdom officers employed 'scare tactics' on residents and worked on a commission type scheme.

The council has defended the service and released details of more than 100 offenders whose fines totalled over £56,000.

The new smoking scheme will only apply on a first offence. An officer will give the litterer a card explaining how to sign up for the smoking course.