News

Kingdom tackling litter in the Wirral

clip_image002Kingdom has won a 3 year contract with Wirral Borough Council to provide environmental protection services in the borough.

As of the 1st July, Kingdom is now providing a team of enforcement officers, together with back office support, aimed at dealing primarily with street litter, but also providing vital intelligence and evidence from patrols to tackle all aspects of environmental crime.

Kingdom now has responsibility for enforcing legislation around litter left on streets and in parks and other open spaces. Anyone who is now caught dropping and leaving behind in public in Wirral will be hit with an on-the-spot fine of £80.

Kingdom’s officers will be taking a zero tolerance approach, with proceeds from the fixed penalties going back into environmental activities in the borough, such as tackling litter, graffiti and fly-posting.

Street-cleaning currently costs Wirral Council £3.7million per year, and last year more than 4,500 tonnes of waste was collected from street cleansing rounds.

The council’s cabinet member for the Environment and Sustainability, Councillor Bernie Mooney, said:

“I know from the feedback we get whenever we conduct public consultations, as well as more informal conversations I’ve had with local residents, that cleaning up our public spaces is a real priority for Wirral people.

“At the heart of this issue is a need to tackle that minority of people who still believe it is okay to just drop their rubbish wherever they fancy. It can’t just be about education or awareness-raising anymore, nor can we afford to just throw more money into street-cleansing – there has to be a realistic deterrent and I believe hitting these irresponsible people in the pocket is the way to go.

“Having dedicated environmental enforcement officers out there every day issuing on the spot fines to those who are caught in the act should soon get the message out there that we mean business. Dropping litter is anti-social behaviour and blights communities and I would think the majority of local people believe we are right to be targeting offenders in this way.”

Michael Fisher, Director of Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Division, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Wirral Council with the common aim of reducing street litter within the district and making the streets both cleaner and safer for all members of the community. Kingdom EPD have been delivering a wide range of environmental investigations and enforcement services on a national basis since 2009 and have consequently contributed to a reduction in street litter and the associated cost of street cleaning as a result of our efforts.

“Our aim is to patrol in an ‘intelligence-led’ manner focusing our controls on identified litter hot-spots operating a robust but always proportionate methodology to tackle the problem, using a wide range of technical support including body worn cameras and a ‘real time’ capability of verifying details provided in the event of transgressions being identified. Our patrols will be instructed to communicate openly with the community with the overall aim of inclusivity for the Wirral community to play their part in the task ahead.”

Wirral Council have issued a press release entitled “On the spot fines for litter to be enforced” which can be viewed at http://www.wirral.gov.uk/news/24-06-2015/spot-fines-litter-be-enforced. Articles have also appeared about the new service in the Wirral Globe (National firm hired to launch ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on Wirral litter-bugs) and Cheshire Today (Wirral to introduce spot fines for littering).

Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Division delivers over 130,000 Environmental Protection hours per year on behalf of Local Authorities. They are led by experts with an ex-police and military background, and issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to offenders who are seen breaking the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in streets, parks and open spaces, therefore reducing anti-social behaviour. For more information, please visit http://www.kingdom.co.uk/services/environmental-protection/ or call 0845 051 7702.