Darlington Borough Council has issued a “zero tolerance” warning in a bid to tackle litter louts with the appointment of a private sector organisation.
With annual clean-up costs in excess of £1.18 million, the council have appointed the Kingdom Services Group Ltd to help tackle environmental crimes, with the focus on littering and dog fouling.
They will begin patrols across Darlington from September and will be issuing Fixed Penalty Notices of £75 to anyone caught dropping litter or dog fouling.
The group’s main focus will be within densely populated areas such as the town centre, with work in other areas of the borough less frequent and more targeted.
The contract will be self-financing, with income generated through the issue of Fixed Penalty Notices.
Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, explained: “It costs Darlington’s Council Tax payers more than £1.18 million every year to clear up litter and dog fouling.
“Despite the best efforts of the council’s workforce and our brilliant volunteers and Street Champions, we’re simply not able to win the battle against those people who do not respect their area and continue to drop litter or do not pick up after their dogs.”
Wallis continued: “We are now adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and will be trialling the use of a private sector organisation which will help us tackle litter and dog fouling, while our staff focus on other environmental crimes.
“If it works we will continue with this approach, if not we will look at other options.”
He added: “Our message to residents and visitors to Darlington is simple – enough is enough! Litter and dog fouling will not be tolerated. If you are caught – and there’s a good chance you will be – you will be fined.”
Graham Hall, head of Community Safety at Darlington Borough Council, said: “Around 45 local authorities currently use private sector enforcement contracts across the country with some encouraging results.
“We know it is something that divides public opinion, but we are determined to tackle the on-going problem of litter and dog fouling on our streets.
“The private sector enforcement teams will focus on litter and dog fouling while the council’s new team will see the work of enforcement and community safety combined.
“Our staff will be out and about patrolling the borough and working with our communities to tackle a range of issues from fly tipping and abandoned cars to parking enforcement, stray dogs and anti-social behaviour.”
Delroy McGee, head of Kingdom’s Environmental Services Division, added: “Kingdom Environmental Services are delighted to be working in partnership with Darlington Borough Council helping them create a cleaner and greener environment.”
For further information about litter patrols in Darlington, visit the Darlington Borough Council website.
Source: Darlington Borough Council