Pendle Borough Council have taken on a private enforcement company to impose on-the-spot fines of up to £150 for littering and dog fouling in a crackdown on "environmental crime".
The new team of uniformed District Enforcement Ltd officers - equipped with cameras - started work across the borough on Monday, giving those caught littering or failing to clean up after their dogs stern warnings prior to the hefty fines coming into effect on Monday, February 25th.
With clean streets and tackling dog fouling emerging as top priorities from the council's recent Life in Pendle survey, which assessed the views of over 500 residents, District Enforcement have been taken on for a 12-month trial at no cost to the council and will soon be issuing £150 fines for littering (including dropping cigarette butts) and £100 fines for dog fouling.
“We’re having a new crackdown on people who are bringing parts of Pendle down," said Councillor Paul White, Leader of Pendle Council. “The aim is simply to make Pendle a cleaner place, because it’s infuriating for those residents who do look after our area to see others spoiling it.
"As councillors, the number one complaint we get is about dog dirt and littering," Cllr White added. "We’ve listened to residents and we’re taking tough action to clamp down on those who litter and on people who don’t clean up after their dogs."
Having made the decision to take on the enforcement officers last December following the success of comparable fixed-penalty notice programmes in areas including Burnley, Pendle Council are confident that the District Enforcement team will enable their own Environmental Crime Officers to tackle other pressing issues such as investigating fly-tips to bring the culprits to court.
Pointing out that Pendle has one of the best environmental crime teams in the UK, David Alexander, who oversees Pendle Council’s Environmental Crime Team, said: "Offenders will get on-the-spot fines; littering is an environmental crime.
"This is a huge task and whereas previously we couldn’t cover every area of Pendle and also devote the investigation time needed to tackle fly-tipping, we can now get tougher on people who carry out offences in our area," he added.
Local residents are also being encouraged to help the new enforcement officers by flagging up any known hot-spots for littering and dog fouling online at www.pendle.gov.uk/doitonline, where they can provide details to assist the council in catching any culprits.
Warren Hodgson, National Operations Manager for District Enforcement, commented: “We’ll be covering all areas of Pendle and concentrating on known problem hot-spots. Our officers are equipped with cameras for our protection and for public protection and in case of complaints to show that we are treating people in a polite and friendly way."