From next month people who drop litter face being fined in a major new crackdown.
Enforcement officers from East Hampshire District Council will be patrolling the district from November 1 with powers to issue on-the-spot fines.
Litterers will receive a fine of £80 (reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days) while those who don’t clear up their dog mess will be hit with a £100 fine (reduced to £75). Anyone refusing to pay could be taken to court and fined £2,500.
Councillors at Chichester District Council have pledged to crack down on litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling in response to an increase in incidents and concern from local residents.
“Litter, fly tipping and dog fouling all have a negative impact on our beautiful area and the public expect us to do something about it,” said Roger Barrow, CDC cabinet member for contract services.
“We know that many people want to see tougher action against those who deliberately litter our district so, as well as continuing with enforcement action against fly tippers, we will be teaming up with East Hampshire District Council to take part in a litter enforcement trial, which will begin on 1 November.”
The trial will initially last a year, and is also being run in East Hampshire, Havant, and Arun District Council.
Community clean up days will also take place.
Cllr Barrow said: “The trial will involve litter enforcement officers monitoring the city, towns, villages, parks and the seafront and fining those who are seen dropping litter or not clearing up their dog’s mess.
“It has already had a very positive impact in our neighbouring district areas and it is hoped that it will now send a strong message to the small minority of people who continue to ruin the local environment.
“We want to stress that this is not about money.
“The fines are not intended to provide income for the council; they will just pay for the service.
“We will also be using a local authority company whose officers are fully trained and follow a different approach to the private services that have been used by other councils elsewhere in the country.”
He added: “Currently, we spend more than £1 million a year on clearing litter and fly tipping, but if people didn’t drop or dump rubbish, we could spend a proportion of this money on other essential services.
“We‘ve also seen an increase in littering on our roads and coastline, the number of fly tips reported, and the amount of hazardous waste we have had to remove. It’s clear that we have to act.
“We want to prick the public conscience and develop a strong anti-litter culture in the district so that it becomes completely unacceptable to drop litter of any kind or dump rubbish.
“This is a concentrated effort and will involve a number of different methods.
“We want to engage with local communities and empower them to take positive, preventative action, as well as encouraging local businesses to get involved.”
Remote cameras are also being used in fly tipping hotspots to catch offenders as part of a West Sussex Partnership project.
The council dealt with almost 1000 cases last year and has pledged to continue to prosecute anyone caught fly tipping.
Better signage will also increase awareness, for example letting people know that dog bags can be dropped in any litter bin around the district.
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