|Crackdown on dog fouling and littering
In a crackdown against dog fouling and littering, Wigan Council is deploying more environmental officers this week.
The officers will be patrolling the streets and parks of Wigan Borough in an attempt to catch those guilty of littering and failing to clean up after their dogs.
The council has enlisted the help of specialist environmental enforcement company, 3GS who are providing a dedicated team of officers tasked with helping to keep the borough's streets and parks clean. Intelligence gathered from the street patrols will be used to plan and focus the teamís activities on hotspots.
The number of complaints about dog fouling and littering remains consistently high in the borough, indicating how strongly residents feel about the issue. With the help of 3GS, more frequent, dedicated litter and dog fouling patrols will be able to respond to these complaints.
Over £3 million pounds is spent each year on street cleaning in Wigan Borough. It is anticipated that the presence of uniformed patrols will encourage people to stop and think before breaking the law.
If officers witness anyone blatantly dropping litter or failing to pick up after their dog, they will issue £50 fixed penalty notices on the spot. On the other hand, those seen acting responsibly and using litter bins will be given a raffle ticket and entered into a regular prize draw to win £25.00 Amazon vouchers.
The twelve month pilot period will allow the council to assess if the extra presence and zero tolerance approach will bring about the positive behaviours that the majority of residents expect to keep streets clean. Levels of cleanliness will be monitored throughout the trial to gauge what impact is being made before decisions on the long-term future of littering and dog fouling enforcement are taken.
Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council cabinet member for the environment, said:
Time and time again residents have told us that keeping the boroughís streets clean and safe is the most important priority. This new approach is about tackling this issue once and for all.
Ideally weíd like to see residents playing an active role in keeping their streets clean and to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. Unfortunately, this isnít always the case and the number of complaints we receive has forced us to adopt a firmer approach to those who break the law.
One of the biggest issues is cigarette butts, which for some reason some people donít see as littering, but if anyone is spotted dropping one they will be fined. The same goes for dropping food for pigeons, which is also classed as littering.
Iíd advise people against dropping any kind of litter and to ensure that they pick up after their dog to avoid getting a fine.
Paul Buttivant, managing director of 3GS, said: "We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Wigan Council in trying to address this growing environmental problem. Littering isn't just affecting the good people of Wigan but is a problem across the whole of the UK costing nearly £1 billion pounds each year. Our work with Wigan is about enforcing legislation while trying to educate people. Our objective is to significantly reduce this growing blight on communities.
To report littering or dog fouling contact Wigan Councilís environmental team on: 01942 404364.