Fylde Council say that the new enforcement measures introduced on 1st July to tackle environmental crimes has been a huge success in its first month, with 465 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) issued across the Borough. The payments do not go to the Council, however. Under the agreement the company hired, District Enforcement, retains the fines. The Council says that the District Enforcement Environmental Crime Officers are specialists in their field, and the Council has given clear and defined delegated powers with officers following current legislative guidelines and the local authority enforcement policy.
The weekly breakdown for the penalty notices issued is as follows:
- Week 1: 73
- Week 2: 127
- Week 3: 93
- Week 4: 87
- Week 5: 85
The fine for littering is £100 (with an early payment discount of £80) and £100 for any dog related offence, payable to District Enforcement within 14 days. This gives an offender the opportunity to discharge their liability from being prosecuted by paying the FPN, however court proceedings will be initiated should the offender choose not to pay the FPN, with the maximum fine for littering being £2,500 and a potential conviction at a Magistrates Court.
Roger Small, Chair of the Operational Management Committee at Fylde Council said: ‘It is rather disappointing to have to point out the number of people fined for environmental offences, as this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. I would implore people not to drop or leave waste. There are ample waste bins about or alternatively take the waste home.
Similarly, if you have dogs please clean up after them. There is absolutely no excuse to leave dog mess particularly in parks or on the beach where people or children may be playing.
Lastly our amenity beach is there for families to enjoy the beach safely. Dogs are excluded from that section of beach for that very reason. There are huge expanses of beach where dog owners are welcome to go, but the amenity beach is closed to dogs during the season.
I would urge all our residents to think hard about protecting our environment.’
Colin Buchanan Head of Operations at District Enforcement added: ‘District Enforcement is excited to be working in partnership with Fylde Council and play our part in keeping such a beautiful borough clean and tidy, with our sole ambition to reduce the amount of littering and dog fouling on the streets.
We have a dedicated team of officers who will, on a daily basis, patrol the whole borough and take a fair and proportionate approach to the issuance of a fixed penalty notice for any environmental crime offences they witness. It has been noted from a survey carried out by Keep Britain Tidy, dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering which is found on 79% of the streets surveyed as part of their Local Environmental Quality Survey. The issue with cigarettes is that they take up to 12 years to degrade – during which time they leak harmful toxins. These same butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures.’