Pendle's litter police 'should stop stalking people in supermarket car parks' says councillor

Pendle's private litter enforcement teams should stop "stalking people in supermarket car parks" according to one angry councillor who would like to see them kicked out of the borough.

Pendle Council met last night to discuss the ongoing contract it has with the controversial District Enforcement "litter police" which could see the partnership terminated in February after complaints from members of the public.

Leader Times reported in October that a whopping 94% of the Fixed Penalty Notices issued by District Enforcement Ltd since it began operating last February were for cigarette related offences. Concern was also raised that its officers were targeting people in supermarket car parks and that vulnerable people had also been issued fines.

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Liberal Democrat Coun. David Whipp, himself a Keep Britain Tidy ambassador, is leading calls for the contract to be ended after criticising the company's heavy-handed tactics.

Coun. Whipp said: "I suggested at the full council meeting how important it was to win the hearts, minds and souls of people rather than antagonise them. I want to see a change in people's attitudes to litter but you don't achieve that by an inappropriate use of fines and by stalking people in supermakret car parks.

In an effort to compromise, the council has written to District Enforcement asking them to come forward with an alternative plan to combat litter which is more acceptable, but the company has so far not responded.

Coun. Whipp added: "The actions of District Enforcement are in danger of alienating a huge section of society which would be a great tragedy and do nothing to stop the scourge of litter.

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"Members of the public have made it perfectly plain they don't support the actions of District Enforcement which are counter-productive. Since October, for instance, fines for dog fouling and other littering offences have barely increased, while cigarette related offences remain in the majority."

A final decision is expected to be made in the New Year.

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