Kirklees Council Enforcement trial update
In April 2017, we joined a number of local authorities in outsourcing our litter and dog fouling enforcement to a private company. The yearlong trial set to conclude in April 2018 has already proven successful.
We are working with specialist company Kingdom and gave them permission to issue fixed penalty notices for a range of offences including dropping litter.
Due to the success we will shortly be looking to start the procurement process to find a longer term partner.
How many fines have been issued?
So far they’ve handed out 2853 tickets for littering, with the most people paying the fine quickly.
What about people who don’t pay?
A small number have contested the fine or not paid it by the deadline and we took these to court – this is what happened:
- We prosecuted 71 cases on 1 August 2017 at Leeds Magistrates Court.
- All 71 were found guilty of littering, 65 of them were made to pay a £220 fine, £30 victim surcharge and £100 in costs.
- The 6 remaining cases received a lesser fine but were still found guilty.
Why is the scheme a good thing?
The scheme doesn’t cost us or you as the tax payer anything, and it frees up officer time to concentrate on bigger issues like fly tipping and industrial waste enforcement.
What can I be fined for?
You can be fined for littering including dropping cigarette butts, and dog fouling, you can also be fined for not having a bag or other means for picking up you dog’s waste.
Councillor Mather shares her thoughts
Cllr Naheed Mather Cabinet Member responsible for enforcement said:
“ I am pleased that the trial is going so well because littering and other anti-social behaviour affect everyone. Not only does dealing with the litter cost the tax payer money but the litter itself makes the area less attractive to live and work in.
“Unfortunately we know that ‘doing the right thing’ is not enough of a driver to encourage behaviour change, so we use enforcement – if the threat of a fine is what it takes to stop people littering then I think it’s worth it.
“My hope for the future is that the number of tickets issued decreases, not because it becomes less efficient, but because people take responsibility and dispose of waste correctly.
“Whilst we have yet to carry out a full evaluation, anecdotal evidence suggests that there has already been a reduction in litter dropped on our streets. Our additional success on prosecuting outstanding cases also demonstrates that these charges are serious, and that if you are caught it makes sense to pay up as soon as possible, rather than face a larger fine and additional costs in court.”