Since the beginning of November, Dacorum Borough Council has upped its commitment to making Dacorum a cleaner and safer place to live, work and visit by partnering with District Enforcement, a company that specialises in environmental enforcement.
433 people have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) after they were caught either deliberately dropping litter, cigarette waste or breaching our Public Space Protection Orders in the Borough.
Between 1 November and 30 November, District enviro-crime officers have issued a total of 433 FPNs of £80 to people who were observed committing offences as part of their patrols and have visited every ward throughout Dacorum.
Bin the Butt!
The most common form of littering so far has been discarded cigarette waste, which has accounted for over 66% of FPNs issued or a total of 286. This statistic backs up Keep Britain Tidy’s research which found that dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering, found on 79% of the 7,200 sites surveyed as part of their Local Environment Quality Survey of England 2017/18.
Tackling Dog control
As well handing out fines for littering, officers have issued FPNs for dog fouling, persons not being in control of their dog and for failure to keep a dog out of an enclosed play area or keep it three metres away from play equipment.
District Enforcement Officers have been patrolling Dacorum, seven days a week, including, town centres, our parks and open spaces, areas that have been identified as ‘hot spots’.
Cllr Julie Banks, Portfolio holder for Community & Regulatory Services at Dacorum Borough Council, said: ‘We want to make Dacorum a cleaner and safer place, and for people to be proud of where they live, work and visit. This is why we are now taking a targeted approach to fine people who think it is acceptable to drop litter on our streets and not pick up after their dogs.
‘The first month of enforcement action has highlighted that people don’t regard cigarette waste as litter, which has led to a high number of fines. Dropping cigarette butts is still littering and not disposing of them properly harms the environment and makes our streets look untidy. As well as plastic, cigarette filters are made up of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which can end up in our waterways and be highly toxic to fish and other marine animals.
‘I am also particularly pleased to see that FPNs have been issued for dog fouling, which is an emotive issue and one that the public frequently bring to the attention of councillors. We have already noticed a change of behaviour within high foot fall areas. This just goes to show education plays a key element within our service delivery.’
Dyl Kurpil, Managing Director at District Enforcement, added: ‘We have a dedicated team of officers who, on a daily basis, patrol the district and take a fair and proportionate approach to the issuance of a Fixed Penalty Notice for any environmental crime offences they witness. This new partnership between District Enforcement and Dacorum Borough Council has proved to be a successful one and we look forward working with each other in the future.’
District Enforcement have been given powers by Dacorum Borough Council to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £80 for littering and breaches of our PSPOs. Should the FPN not be paid, the offender could face prosecution and a potential fine of up to £2,500.
Enviro-crime Officers receive intensive training and ongoing professional development to maintain high standards. They also wear Body Cameras to capture interaction between officers and members of the public.
You can find more information about District Enforcement and the Council’s new policy of issuing Fixed Penalty Notices at district-enforcement.co.uk/littering-dog-fouling or our Public Space Protection Orders at www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/community-living/community-safety-dacorum/public-spaces-protection-orders.
The range of offences and number of people fined in November 2021 are as follows:
- Littering – 302 FPNs
- PSPO Skateboarding or Cycling – 107 FPNs
- Spitting – 15 FPNs
- Dog control – 5 FPNs
- Urinating & street drinking – 4 FPNs