Express & Star

That's foul! New crackdown on litter louts and dog mess in Dudley

A zero-tolerance hit squad is set to pound the streets across Dudley in a crackdown on litter and dog fouling.

Dudley Council House

The council has employed Kingdom Enforcement Services, made up of ex-police and military personnel armed with body cameras, to take on responsibility for patrolling the streets, parks and open spaces across the borough for a trial 12-months.

The initiative is expected to see a significant increase in the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for those who drop litter or fail to pick up after their pets.

The move will not cost the council, with Kingdom receiving payment directly as a percentage of the financial penalties issued.

The local authority will still retain a percentage of the income from the fixed penalty notices.

The company will initially have five officers on the beat plus one team leader overseeing operations.

It already works with more than 30 local authorities across the country, including Wolverhampton City Council.

More than 9,000 FPNs were issued in Wolverhampton in 2016 after the firm were taken on by the local authority.

Comparative figures show just 25 were handed out from April 2014 to March 2015, before the firm took over.

New litter police in Walsall last year reported handing out 250 fines worth a potential £20,000 in just under six months in the battle to clean up the borough after council chiefs employed private enforcement firm 3GS.

Sandwell Council fined just 10 people for dropping litter in 2015/2016 and just 11 fixed-penalty notices were issued by Stafford Borough Council from April 2016 to the end of December in the same year.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for Dudley’s environmental services, said: “We will have more enforcement people on the streets, which councillors and residents are lobbying for daily.

“The officers will be highly visible and with the increased number of fixed penalty notices being handed out this can only lead to cleaner streets, which is what we all want.”