News

Kingdom brought in to fight litter in Bristol

logoWe are delighted to announce that, from the 6th November 2017, Kingdom will be providing Environmental Protection services in Bristol. The news was announced exclusively this morning in the Bristol Post under the headline “You could pay up to £2,500 for spitting, dropping rubbish or cigarette butts in Bristol.”

Kingdom will be enforcing £75 on-the-spot fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for people caught dropping rubbish, leaving cigarette butts and spitting in the street as part of Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees’ plans to get tough on tackling litter. We will initially focus on the city centre, and if that is successful the service may be expanded to include other areas of Bristol.

Children under the age of 18 and those who are considered to “lack capacity” will be exempt from the measures. Money raised through the fines will cover the cost of Kingdom’s Environmental Protection services, and any additional profit will be used by Bristol City Council to tackle environmental issues in the city.

As explained in the Bristol Post, “the measures – which come in to force next month – will cover a number of littering acts including leaving dog poo, leaflets and chewing gum on pavements and public places. Fines will also be issued to those caught leaving graffiti tags.

“People who don’t pay their fines could be taken to court and incur fines and costs of up to £2,500, although there is a £25 discount for early payment.

“Existing rules already allow street officials to levy on-the-spot fines to those caught littering but it is thought the dedicated team and wider category of potential offences will ensure that more people are caught in the act and fined.

“Street-cleaning currently costs Bristol City Council £6 million a year and last year around 7,000 tonnes of waste was collected from the streets.”

The move was one of a number of measures being announced by Bristol’s Mayor in his annual State of the City address to make Bristol “measurably cleaner” by 2020. With Kingdom’s Environmental Protection officers taking on these duties, it will free up council officers to tackle other issues such as fly tipping, noise complaints, abandoned vehicles and dangerous or stray dogs.

Explaining Kingdom’s role, our Operations Director John Dunne said: “We will be using trained and experienced teams to work in collaboration with the council’s in-house teams in identified hotspots. Our aim is to reduce the amount of litter unlawfully dropped, resulting in a safer, greener and cleaner city."

Bristol is one of the largest cities in the UK with a population of over 450,000 people, and is also one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations. This is not surprising considering its history dates well over a thousand years, and it is famous for its role in exploring the new world, the slave trade and the achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel amongst other things.

Bristol is home to two universities, the Bristol Old Vic theatre, the Bristol Hippodrome and the Theatre Royal, many historical buildings, museums and art galleries, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers football teams, and Bristol Rugby. In 2008 it was a finalist for the European Capital of Culture, but lost out to Liverpool, who Kingdom also provides environmental protection services to.

Bristol has previously been named as one of the world’s top ten cities by the international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides. It has also twice been named by The Sunday Times as the best city in Britain to live (in 2014 and 2017) and won the EU’s European Green Capital Award in 2015. Bristol was also designated as England’s first “cycling city” in 2008 and is home to Sustrans.

With all of this in mind, Kingdom is very honoured and excited to be playing a key role in keeping such a fantastic city clean for all of the residents and people who visit Bristol every year.

Commenting on the news in the Bristol Post, the Mayor said: “Keeping Bristol clean is everyone’s responsibility. I launched the Clean Streets Campaign to encourage people to step up and help keep their local community clean and tidy. Although the response has been positive among schools, community groups and individuals, litter remains a huge issue for the city.

“For this reason we have decided to take a tougher stance on enforcement, and are bringing in a specialist company to help us target people who continue to think it is acceptable to use Bristol as their own personal dustbin.

“Picking up litter costs the city a massive amount of money at a time when we are having to make severe cut backs to vital services. We will not tolerate mindless littering in Bristol - it is time for us to take pride in our city and stamp out this thoughtless behaviour.”

We are particularly delighted that the move has been supported by community groups in the city. Ben Barker from the Greater Bedminster community partnership told the Bristol Post that “most people understand that litter is a ‘bad thing’. It disfigures our beautiful parks and makes our retail districts unattractive to all apart from rats, and often it smells. Most people understand, and are prepared to help by picking up or not dropping litter, but a few haven’t got the message or don’t care.

“The council’s new enforcement policy will help to bring this minority in line with the rest of us and make us proud to live in Bristol.”

Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Division is led by experts with an ex-police and military background and delivers over 270,000 Environmental Protection hours each year on behalf of local authorities up and down the UK. They issue fixed penalty notices to offenders who are seen breaking the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in streets, parks and open spaces in order to reduce anti-social behaviour.

To find out more about Kingdom’s Environmental Protection service, please call 0845 051 7702 or visit http://www.kingdom.co.uk/services/environmental-protection/