Dedicated squad starts work cracking down on litter

Published: Thursday 16th February 17

A dedicated six-person enforcement team wearing body cameras will be cracking down on litter, as a major pilot scheme gets underway.

Cllr Cook with the team

The uniformed environmental enforcement officers will carry out daily patrols of the borough’s streets and public, with offenders receiving a £80 fixed penalty notice.

Wandsworth has appointed contractors NSL to run the 12 month pilot scheme following a competitive tendering exercise. The new squad is in addition to the council’s in-house team, which last year issued well over a thousand fines for flytipping and littering.

The new team will not be required to hand out a pre-ordained number of fines nor will they be operating under any kind of bonus system but they will be helping to enforce the council’s zero-tolerance approach to flytipping and recovering some of the clear-up costs borne by the public purse.

The council spends upwards of £4m a year to keep the borough’s streets clean and some of this amount relates directly to the cost of picking up waste that people have dropped or dumped either deliberately or through carelessness.

The team will be using video technology to gather evidence

As well as employing more inspectors, the council is also using small portable CCTV cameras at various hotspots to gather evidence for prosecutions.

The new enforcement team will focus largely on litter, but the existing in-house team is also targeting businesses that dump their waste on street corners rather than having a contract with a proper commercial waste removal company. And they will crack down on residents that leave their refuse sacks out on the public highway or use the cover of dark to dump items like mattresses or fridges on the street.

They will also look to collar unlicensed waste removal operators who drive around the streets looking for large items of waste to collect - and having taken money to dispose of it properly - simply drive around the corner and dump it.

The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “The vast majority of residents take great pride in their local communities, but we want to send out a really strong message to the irresponsible and inconsiderate minority that think they can get away with spoiling our borough.

“I’m confident NSL will deliver a programme that will not only provide an effective deterrent but also encourage offenders to recognise and address the error of their ways.”

The award of the new environmental enforcement programme follows NSL’s appointment early last year to deliver all on- and off-street enforcement services for the borough as well as taking on responsibility for the suspensions service and management of all of the council’s fixed and mobile CCTV resources.

Cllr Cook and Phil Pughe with the team and Wandworth's Deputy Director of Environment and Community Services, Kevin Power

Phil Pughe, NSL’s Neighbourhoods Account Director, said: “Littering blights many busy and densely populated urban areas and the vast majority of responsible residents and local businesses are fully supportive of any programme that will address the problem and keep their local areas clean and safe.

“Our experience in helping to reduce the incidence of littering and encouraging behavioural change among habitual offenders has delivered very positive outcomes for other authorities and we’re delighted to now be applying this experience in Wandsworth.”

*The council has made it much easier for people to report flytips and other problems via its Report It app.

To download the app, search for ‘Wandsworth Report It’ on the Apple, Android or Windows app store, or access it via the council’s website.

You can also report flytips online at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/flytipping. If you have any information that could help prosecute offenders email flytipwitness@wandsworth.gov.uk.

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Recent comments

'The new squad is in addition to the council’s in-house team, which last year issued well over a thousand fines for flytipping and littering.' As far as I'm aware, the council does not and cannot issue fines. That is the job of the courts, I believe. An FPN only discharges liability.
A. Pedant

22 February 2017

As always, great to hear there are people cleaning up litter. If you want to make some serious money from fines, then I suggest King George's Park right next to the Aspire 3G Pitch and Southfields Academy. The children here seem to use the park as a dumping ground for chicken boxes and bones from Morley's chicken shop. Just wait for lunch and home time and hey presto, you could rack up thousands fining the children! In all seriousness though, this could make the park could look beautiful again as it was in half term when the children weren't around.
Mike Thomas

20 February 2017

What an intolerable invasion of the general public's privacy! How dare the council be violating the privacy of innocent people with this ill thought out, invasive, totalitarian abuse of power! This is an absolutely disgusting move. I am furious.
Richard

20 February 2017

I am extremely pleased that at least something is being done about the appalling litter problem in Wandsworth. I endorse the statement about the litter mess left after collections. I also do not think there are enough bins - in and around Westfield Road and Surrey Lane. Those that there are, are often full and overflowing. Between the two schools - Thomas's and St Bosco's - there are a lot of sweet papers and crisp packets dropped each lunchtime and after school. I wish Wandsworth Council would introduce talks in schools about not dropping litter. I have however found the Councuil responsive when problems are reported, so I would encourage people to do so.
AR

19 February 2017

Another real growing problem, and greater risk to residents health is dog mess. How many fines were issued last year? I'd class dog mess as also littering, so can these guys also issue fines for non proper disposal of dog mess? It would be nice to walk the streets and go to the park without my two boys getting covered.
mark

18 February 2017

I hope that they have authority to fine foxes. Otherwise I would prefer that they carry a broom and a dustbin on wheels along with their body cameras.
Christian Atherton

17 February 2017

All hail to Wandsworth council, get those litter louts, it really upsets me when I see people discarding their rubbish on the streets even worse when there is a bin very close by. Only wished this had come sooner. Don't forget the cigarette buts!! Good luck guys!:)
Helen Arthur

17 February 2017

A good initiative but money would be better spent on ensuring that those collecting rhubbish on given days do so with care. Have you looked around Wandsworth after collection days. Some areas look as filthy and strewn with rubbish as a result of careless collection. If you do something about this you will make a big difference to the appearance of the borough. Also the first hundred meters on Eatonville Road (starting from Trinity Road) daily looks like a tip. I suspect that the rubbish (food, drinks, packaging, cigarettes) comes from the residence of the halfway house on the corner of Trinity Rd. and Eatonville from the residence who hang around outside late at night. Can these new monitors monitor this. Doubt it as it is late at night.
Michael Gottlieb

17 February 2017

This is a good idea but it would be better if the Council was not, at the same time, removing litter bins from all but the main streets. For example there are no bins in Latchmere Road or the whole of the Shaftesbury estate so litter collects and dog mess, even if bagged, is left on the streets. Provide the bins and more people will use them.
George Bishop

17 February 2017