People caught dropping litter, flytipping and allowing their dogs to foul foul in public places anywhere in the city now face £75 on-the-spot fines as new enforcement officers take to the streets of Brighton & Hove.
The officers, employed by private company 3GS Environmental Solutions, have already begun patrolling in the city.
The new service will support the council’s strategy to encourage everyone to produce less waste and recycle more. It will tackle antisocial and illegal behaviour, improve the environment and reduce waste clean-up and disposal costs.
Each year the council receives dozens of complaints from residents about fly-tipping, litter and other antisocial behaviour and the issues are often raised at residents groups and community meetings.
The scheme was approved by councillors last year and 3GS was awarded the contract following a competitive tendering process.
It will cover fly-tipping, littering, flyposting, graffiti, dog fouling and disposing of commercial waste illegally. The enforcement officers will wear body cameras to gather evidence and identify offenders.
The council will follow government guidelines to ensure that any fines are issued responsibly.
Officers will also work closely with businesses, schools and other community groups to educate and raise awareness of environmental crime. They will be looking out for good examples of people picking up litter and improving their neighbourhoods and there will be a gift voucher reward scheme as part of the initiative.
Councillor Gill Mitchell chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “We are often asked to take a tougher stance around antisocial behaviour such as dropping litter, fly-posting, dog fouling and graffiti.
“This new scheme, along with the publicity and education programme, will tackle the problem head-on and send out a strong message that deliberate antisocial behaviour which blights our city will not be tolerated.”
Those issued with a fixed penalty notice who refuse to pay could end up in court and not only be ‘named and shamed’ but also landed with a much higher penalty and possibly court costs.
Regular updates on how the scheme is operating and the effect it is having on improving the city’s environment will be reported to the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.
Under the terms of the agreement, no targets will be set for issuing fines and 3GS is prohibited from paying its officers any form of performance pay, commission or bonuses linked in any way to the number of tickets individual officers issue.
Tickets for littering will be issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Cleaner Neighbourhoods Environment Act 2005 and the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003.