Enforcement Officers working for Northampton Borough Council in a pilot scheme to reduce litter in the town centre have issued more than 1,500 fixed penalty notices during the eight month trial period
The Enforcement Officers have been providing a uniformed presence in the town centre since April, dealing with people who drop litter such as cigarettes or chewing gum, or who do not pick up their dog’s mess.
The trial followed repeated calls from the public and from businesses for Northampton’s town centre to be cleaner.
Since the trial began, 1,505 fixed penalty notices for littering have been issued, compared with 74 notices issued by town centre wardens as part of their general duties in the same period last year.
The Environmental Enforcement Officers issue £80 Fixed Penalty Notices to people caught dropping litter. The penalty is reduced down to £50 for prompt payment.
Failing to pay an on-the-spot fine is a criminal offence and the case could then progress to the Magistrates’ Court.
The Borough Council is now considering how to make the trial a permanent feature to combat littering in Northampton.
Cllr Mike Hallam, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Northampton Borough Council, said: “People have been telling us that they want the town centre to be a cleaner place, and they want to see us deal with the minority of people who behave anti-socially by dropping litter.
“This trial shows that we have been very successful at catching and taking action against people who litter and we hope that will serve as a deterrent to others who carelessly drop their rubbish in the street. There is no excuse for anyone to drop litter and this scheme has shown that we can crack down on those who spoil the town for the rest of us.”
The Borough Council will now decide on how to take the scheme forward.