The new “zero tolerance” litter patrols have taken to the streets of Darlington this week, with the focus on littering and dog fouling.

In August, Darlington Borough Council appointed Kingdom Services Group to provide a team of enforcement officers, who will issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £75 to anyone caught dropping litter, including cigarette butts, or not picking up after their dog.

The initiative, which is on a six month trial, is part of the council’s ongoing efforts to clean up the borough and help maintain a clean and vibrant town centre for both residents and visitors.

Nick Wallis, the Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, explained: “The new patrols have been introduced on a trial basis in a bid to tackle the ongoing problems of litter in Darlington and to deter the thoughtless minority who throw their rubbish onto our streets, which costs around £1.18m a year to clean up.

“Our Street Scene staff are at work every day cleaning our streets, picking up litter thrown on the ground and dealing with fly tipping incidents. We also have a fantastic army of Street Champions and other volunteers who regularly carry out litter picks across the borough – but it’s still not enough.”

He continued: “We need people to look after and take pride in #OurStreets and to do their bit by either putting their rubbish in a bin or taking it home and those walking dogs must also clean up after their pets.

“Smokers too must realise it’s not acceptable to just throw their cigarettes butts onto the ground – use an ashtray or bin.

“The patrols start this week and initially the teams will be giving a friendly warning to anyone caught littering.

“However, come October 1st, they will issue fines – so if you don’t bin your rubbish or pick up after your dog, there is a very good chance you will be caught and then you will be fined.”

“If you don’t bin your rubbish or pick up after your dog, there is a very good chance you will be caught and then you will be fined.”

Nick Wallis, the Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment

John Walker, business manager at Kingdom Services Group, said:

“Kingdom is delighted to be working in partnership with Darlington Borough Council helping them to achieve cleaner streets for residents and visitors.”

The main focus of the new patrols 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 (FPNs).

The actual number of FPNs to be issued has not been stipulated and there are no set targets, however, it is expected that the number issued will increase significantly from current levels.

Wallis added: “We will be monitoring how the new initiative works in the months ahead and will be asking local residents for their views, which will be used to help us decide if it should be continued.”

You can share your views on the new patrols and find out more information about them on the Darlington Borough Council website.

Source: Darlington Borough Council