Litter Louts Punished: Over 1400 fixed penalties handed out by enforcement patrols

More than 1,400 fines have been given to those who choose to litter or not pick up after their dogs in North East Lincolnshire in the last 12 months.

North East Lincolnshire Council started working with Doncaster Council to introduce private patrols for litter and dog fouling in November 2018.

This was followed by the introduction of other dog control offences covered by a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in early 2019.

A total of 1,482 tickets were issued from November 2018 up to the second week of October 2019.

North East Lincolnshire Council heard from people in 2017 who said they wanted to see more enforcement against people spoiling the borough.

NEL are working with Local authority support in partnership with Doncaster Council to take enforcement action against a number of offences throughout the borough.

In response to the question, ‘Would you support a more robust, zero tolerance approach on litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling?’ Out of 2,955 who answered, 87 per cent said yes.

In a dog control PSPO survey carried out earlier this year, 99 per cent of 428 respondents said public places should be safe and free from dog mess.

Enforcement officers patrol every ward in the borough. Most tickets have been given in Grimsby town centre and in Cleethorpes.

The results are broken down by ward. Thirty five per cent of the tickets were issued in West Marsh alone, with 1,000 fines issued in three wards.

People in the West Marsh saw the most tickets given out at 523, while Waltham had the least at just four.

Officers from Local Authority Support carry out patrols and gather evidence which is passed on to Doncaster Council who issue the fines on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council.
Fines are handed out for a variety of offences, ranging from littering and dog fouling to cycling in pedestrianised areas.
People who choose not to pay the fine can be taken to court. These are heard in groups in Sheffield under the single justice procedure.

All the single justice cases have gone through with no issues, the total fines on each case being £335.

All 156 cases ended in guilty verdicts, which ended up costing £335 each including legal fees.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Nobody wants to see the streets, parks and beach covered in litter and dog mess.

Enforcement officers are on the front line when it comes to taking care of the environment, making the area look better and feel safer. They’re here to deter people from messing up the place for everyone else.

“They are also a helpful presence on the streets and have assisted at incidents including giving first aid to a man who had fallen and injured himself and helping prevent a woman from drowning.

“People told the Council they wanted to see tougher enforcement for these types of offence. If you don’t want to be fined, don’t drop litter, it’s that simple.”

Neil Clark, strategic lead for regulatory services, said: “People who refuse to pay run the risk of having to pay increased fines.
“The recent rulings show the courts are supportive that the tickets have been issued correctly.

“Anyone who is given a fixed penalty ticket is welcome to contest the fine, but it could end up backfiring and hitting them in the pocket.”

Business owners on Grimsby’s Victoria Street have previously expressed their support for the tickets, and say it has improved the High Street.

Local business owner Jonathan Hewitt, of G. Hewitt and Son, said: “The new measures are already making a difference. Shoppers in Victoria Street welcome it and are thanking them.

“It’s the best thing that’s happened in a long while. I’ve seen older people going up to them [enforcement officers] and telling them ‘well done’.”

Contact Gi Grimsby
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