More than 1,500 people have been handed fixed penalty notices for dropping cigarettes across Newark and Sherwood during the first seven months of a pilot scheme.
The local authority wanted to clamp down on people who were discarding litter and dog mess across the district and are expected to make £10,000 from the pilot.
The council decided to launch a one-year Enviro-crime enforcement pilot with third party company WISE at the end of October 2021. The latest results up to May 31 have been revealed.
Councillors must now decide whether they want to continue running the scheme as the contract draws to a close.
So far, 1,925 fixed penalty notices have been handed to people across Newark and Sherwood district – the majority of which are for discarding cigarettes.
The complete breakdown:
Cigarette Litter: 1,689 – £225,000 based on £150 – of course most will have paid £75 taken other action.
Food/food packaging litter: 73
Chewing gum: 48
Printed literature: 19
Scratch cards: 8
Other litter: 64
Dog fouling: 24
During the period, 19 fixed penalty notices were cancelled. Within the same period WISE have recorded a payment success rate of 78 per cent which relates to 1,505 fixed penalty notices being paid. The contract does not involve finding fly-tipping offenders.
The wards with the highest number of fines handed out include the Bridge ward with 590 fixed penalty notices, Ollerton with 385, the Castle with 350, the Beacon with 303 and Deven ward with 137.
The council’s website says fixed penalty notices for depositing litter are £150, reduced to £75 if paid within 14 days. Dog fouling offences are £100, reduced to £75 if paid within 14 days.
Council officers said in a report for a cabinet meeting on July 12: “Members will see that the majority of fixed penalty notices issued have been for cigarette related littering.
“Whilst this is not always the most obvious form of litter it is the promoting environmental enforcement and the impact this has in changing attitudes that is important.
“During the running of the pilot the council has seen an increase in customer comments. The majority of these have been related to the attitude and forthright nature of the enforcement staff.
“Only a few have actually challenged the issue of the fixed penalty notice. The learning from the pilot will shape the specification for any future agreement.”
The agreement with WISE allows the council to receive a percentage return on the income from fixed penalty notices issued.
Based on current activity, the council estimates it will receive approximately £10,000 from WISE over the period of the pilot contract, which runs out on October 25.
The littering legislation allows for any income from environmental enforcement to be reinvested in things such as additional litter bins and fly tipping campaigns.
The council says outsourcing this means the council’s community protection officers can work on other pressing problems across the district.
More recently they have been supporting the anti-social behaviour officers on joint patrols.
They also provide training and support for new community Speed Watch groups as well as undertaking Speed Watch activity in areas where a local group does not exist.
Councillors will now need to consider whether to continue running the scheme.
Approval is needed to commence a procurement exercise for an outsourced environmental enforcement initiative, subject to a further report at the end of the one-year pilot.
The council will also need to approve that the current pilot project be extended for a further three months to allow the completion of a procurement exercise if necessary.