We need more litter patrols, say Walsall chiefs

Calls have been made to increase the number of areas patrolled by litter watchdogs in Walsall just months after their introduction to the borough.

We need more litter patrols, say Walsall chiefs

Private enforcement firm 3GS came in to the borough at the end of September to clamp down on environmental offences, as well as dog fouling and fly-tipping.

Nearly £1,00 worth of fines were dished out in just over a month as Walsall Council looked to clamp down on littering and fly-tipping, which had long been a concern for residents and community leaders.

Now councillor Ian Shires has asked for a review to be carried out into look at whether officers can be spread wider across the borough in an attempt to tackle 'hot-spot' locations and persistent tippers.

The Willenhall councillor added that the cost of cleaning up after fly-tippers adds up to 'hundreds of thousands a year' which he said prevents the council from putting that money into vital front line services.

Councillor Shires said: "The council spends hundreds of thousands of pounds each year cleaning up behind dirty people who have little or no respect for the place in which we live.

"Many of our green spaces are the target for fly tippers.

"Our streets and shopping areas are covered in litter.

A mattress and black bin bags left at another site in the town

"That's hundreds of thousands of pounds that the Council can't spend on keeping libraries open and providing vital front line services to the elderly, young and the sick at a time when the Westminster Government has committed to reducing the support it gives the Borough of Walsall by a further £86million over the next four years.

"The council should be going on the offensive by making examples of those who continue to litter and fly tip.

"Discussions are well advanced within the new Liberal Democrat/Labour administration to step up enforcement and impose automatic fines on those who cost the rest of us so dearly.

"I am asking for a review as to if we can extend the areas which 3GS cover and target the real hot-spots, now just town and district centres."

Earlier this year the council stated around 30 tons of rubbish were dumped in the borough every week costing in the region of £120,000 a year to clean it up.

As well as carrying out inconspicuous investigations officers from 3GS provide a visible presence patrolling the streets, parks and open spaces.

They have legal powers to stop anyone committing an environmental crime and will request their name, address and proof of identity.

Anyone refusing to be cooperative can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act which can result in a £1,000 fine from magistrates.

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