A crackdown on litter is beginning in Liverpool with the launch of a new team to issue fines to those who drop rubbish on the city’s streets.
It follows Mayor Joe Anderson’s recent pledge to tackle the issue of environmental crime and tackle those responsible by significantly increasing the 277 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued over the last year.
The city council is running a 12 month pilot with Kingdom, which works with local authorities across the country to tackle environmental crime.
They will have 17 enforcement officers on the streets of the city centre and district centres equipped with body cameras issuing £80 penalty notices to those they see dropping litter or allowing their dogs to foul.
Proceeds from the on-the-spot fines will be reinvested in tackling environmental activities such as tackling litter, graffiti and fly-posting.
Street-cleaning currently costs Liverpool council tax payers £8 million per year and last year more than 6,500 tonnes of waste was collected from street cleansing rounds.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Our city is not just the place where we all live and work, but also a magnet for millions of tourists and visitors from around the world. Sadly, I am sometimes ashamed when I see the way in which a minority of people treat our streets as a dumping ground.
“We’re doing our bit to keep the streets tidy by introducing 200 larger litter bins across Liverpool and piloting an extension of street cleansing hours in the city centre. As part of that we expect people to help us keep the city tidy as well.
“Dropping litter is not about keeping a street cleanser in a job. It is anti-social behaviour and blights communities. Making our streets look scruffy just because you’re too lazy to find a bin is just not acceptable and we’re not going to tolerate it.
“We’re saying enough is enough and we need people to take pride in our city. This new team will take a zero tolerance approach to dropping litter and will hit those responsible hard in the pocket.
“This is just one of a series of measures we are taking to make Liverpool cleaner and send out a strong message that environmental crime will be tackled, whether it’s litter, dog fouling or flytipping.
“Using Kingdom will enable us to redeploy our staff to dealing with some of the more complex environmental crime issues such as tracking down those responsible for fly tipping.”
Michael Fisher, Environmental Protection Director at Kingdom, said: “Kingdom are delighted to be working in partnership with Liverpool City Council with the aim of reducing the amount of litter and dog excrement currently deposited on the streets and public places in Liverpool.
“We will be deploying trained and experienced teams to join forces with the council’s in-house teams to deploy in identified hotspots in an intelligence-led manner.
“Whilst enforcing the appropriate legislation we envisage a positive knock-on effect of educating those who would commit these offences and thereby reduce the amount of litter unlawfully deposited and this will result in the city being safer, greener and cleaner.”
The launch of the new enforcement team follows a recent request from the Mayor for a series of measures to drive a change in behaviour in those residents that fail to responsibly manage their waste and other environmental crime.
The city council is doubling the number of teams tackling flytipping and improving four foot alleyways to improve conditions for storage of waste as well as introducing larger recycling sacks, expanding weekly recycling services for city centre apartment blocks and piloting weekly recycling.
Last week, two serial fly-tippers who were caught dumping tonnes of illegal trade waste, including asbestos, yards from a children’s dance school were jailed following a surveillance operation by the council and Merseyside Police.