The council announced the start of a new zero tolerance approach to littering and dog fouling in the city via a press release on their website entitled ‘litter enforcers hit Wolverhampton’. The move was also announced in a local newspaper, the Express & Star, in an article entitled “litter squad out to clean up Wolverhampton streets”.
Kingdom’s team of six uniformed officers spent the week commencing Monday 10th August training in the city, and started work full time on Monday 17th August. During their training week Kingdom’s officers gave out a total of 80 penalties, which was more than the council handed out in the previous year. They are focusing their patrols on high footfall areas like the city centre and district centres of Wednesfield, Bilston and Tettenhall. They will also target known hotspot areas elsewhere in the city.
Kingdom’s officers will be issuing immediate, on the spot fines of £75 to people caught dropping litter or cigarettes in the city or letting their dogs foul without picking it up. The new rules will apply to people as young as 16 for the first time ever. It is expected that between 10 and 15 on-the-spot fines will be given out each day and as always Kingdom’s officers will be wearing body cameras to record all interactions with the public. As part of the deal, the council will pay Kingdom £45 per notice issued and keep £30 for itself.
As the press release from the council explained, “the initiative is part of the council’s ‘Cleaner Greener Better’ campaign which aims to boost pride in Wolverhampton by improving the local environment. Tackling litter and dog fouling is a priority for residents. The innovative partnership with Kingdom will not cost taxpayers anything. The company will keep a share of the income from the fines and the remainder will be invested back into tackling environmental issues in the city.
Explaining why the council had appointed Kingdom to provide this service, Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said:
“Residents, business and the council are united in wanting to see action against the minority of antisocial people who litter our streets.
“The message will soon get out there that we mean business by having this full time, highly visible team of enforcement officers out there giving out £75 fines for litter and dog fouling.
“When we announced we were doing this, the reaction we got from the public was very positive indeed. People quite clearly want to see action being taken against the litter critters. Unfortunately, due to Government cuts, we haven’t had the resources to carry out much of our own enforcement in recent years, but this innovative partnership with Kingdom will see that situation change at no cost to the taxpayer.”
Commenting on Kingdom’s new contract with Wolverhampton Council, Michael Fisher, Kingdom’s Divisional Director for Environmental Protection, said: "Kingdom Environmental Protection Division is delighted to be working in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council with the common aim of reducing street litter within the city and make the streets both cleaner and safer for all members of the community.
"Kingdom has 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 hotspots operating a robust but always proportionate methodology to tackle the problem, utilising a wide range of technical support including body worn cameras."
Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Division is led by experts with an ex-police and military background. They deliver over 130,000 Environmental Protection hours per annum on behalf of Local Authorities around the UK. They issue fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to offenders who are seen breaking the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in streets, parks and open spaces, therefore successfully reducing anti-social behaviour. For more information about Kingdom’s Environmental Protection services, please call 0845 051 7702 or visit http://www.kingdom.co.uk/services/environmental-protection/