While we all know what a law enforcement officer looks like l am keen to know what uniform the Council’s new ‘litter enforcement officers’ will be decked out in.
We’ll find out during the spring of next year when they are to be introduced by Bath & North East Somerset Council in an effort to reduce environmental crime and make communities cleaner and greener.
From early next year streets, parks and public spaces will be patrolled by enforcement officers who will have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for littering, dog fouling or fly-tipping.
Councillor Bob Goodman, Cabinet member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said “We work hard to keep our streets and public spaces clean, but all too often council taxpayers foot the bill to pick up other people’s rubbish.
“Litter louts should be held accountable and increasing enforcement should make them think twice about their actions. After all, it isn’t difficult to find a bin and dispose of your rubbish properly and if the bin is full then take your rubbish home and recycle it or put it in the general waste.
“This is a pilot scheme so we will monitor it carefully to make sure it has the desired impact on the environment and we’ll be listening to feedback from local people.”
The enforcement officers will work right across Bath and North East Somerset and will be provided at no cost to the council.
Over the coming weeks B&NES will ask private sector suppliers to put forward proposals for the 12 month pilot project, with the aim of awarding a contract in December. It is anticipated the enhanced litter enforcement will be rolled out in early spring next year.
In July the Council adopted the maximum £150 Fixed Penalty Notice FPN for dropping litter, including cigarette ends and people caught on camera throwing litter from vehicles. Anyone caught fly-tipping in the area can be issued with a FPN up to £400.
The hefty new fines are part of the council’s continued drive to deter people from littering. Stickers and posters advising people about the new fines have been placed on council litter bins.
The Council will also continue to use innovative ways to tackle the problem, including evidence of littering from vehicles captured by dash cams installed in council vehicles.