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Wolverhampton litter wardens to use spying tactics

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Wardens are to use 'covert methods' to spy on fly-tippers and litter louts across Wolverhampton, under plans.

The authority spent nearly £180,000 last year clearing up piles of waste but £75 on-the-spot fines can pull in up to £30,000 a week.

Street wardens are already employed to target people dropping litter and those who let their dogs foul.

And now it is hoped they will be able to use cameras and 'covert methods' to gather evidence. It comes three months after the authority started using Kingdom Security to patrol the streets.

Councillor Steve Evans, the council's environment boss, said: "We said after three months we would review our contract and we are going to stay with them.

"What I am keen to do is discuss extending their remit in terms of fly-tipping. It is a difficult one to tackle, people don't do it in front of you, but you put a camera there and they get found.

"We are looking into extending the powers of Kingdom Security in terms of fly-tipping. The company already know the hotspot areas. They know where they will have to be and the parts that are the worst affected.

"They have their own equipment in terms of filming technology which they would use. They would use their own tactics to catch people out, it might be that they use covert methods to avoid being spotted."

Councillor Evans added: "I feel so sorry for people that have to put up with fly-tipping. We have got a couple of hotspot areas in Whitmore Reans."

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Earlier this month the Express & Star revealed that Craddock Street in Whitmore Reans has become a hotspot for fly-tippers.

In the last month alone settees, a bed, several fridge freezers, a washing machine and even a kitchen sink have been left near to the junction with Dunstall Road.

Residents have said that black bin liners filled with rubbish are strewn down there on a weekly basis.

In 2014/15 Wolverhampton had 4,427 incidents of fly-tipping, costing the council £179,174 in clearance costs. There were 1,358 incidents of dumping rubbish on the roads, 1,109 incidents on footpaths and 838 on council land. A further 126 incidents were in back alleyways.

Kingdom Security has six litter enforcers on city streets. They handed out 401 fines in just one week in the city between August 10 and 16, with the £75 penalties raking in £30,075. Last month people caught littering were ordered to pay hundreds of pounds each by the courts.

Ten people were summoned to appear before magistrates after refusing to accept £75 fines. Five were found guilty in their absence, and ordered to pay £345 each in fines, costs and the victim surcharge.

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