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  • Fylde Council introduces new enforcement resources for environmental crimes

At Fylde Council we are aware how important it is for our residents to live and work in a community which is clean and free from litter and dog fouling. However, despite our efforts to maintain high cleanliness standards individuals continue to drop litter, fail to clean up after their dog or participate in other forms of anti-social behaviour. As a consequence, Fylde Council is introducing proactive enforcement to target such unacceptable behaviour in an effort to ensure the local environment is at an acceptable cleanliness standard.

From 1st July 2020, authorised officers from District Enforcement (private environmental crime specialists), will be working under the direction of Fylde Council, patrolling any area of land that is open to public access, including areas such as town centres and environmental hotspots. The Environmental Crime Officers are specialists in their field, and Fylde Council has given clear and defined delegated powers with officers following current legislative guidelines and the local authority enforcement policy.

Authorised officers will issue an FPN (fixed penalty notice) to anyone they observe, or have evidence to support, has committed an environmental crime that damages the environment.  A fixed penalty notice could be issued for offences such as dropping litter or cigarette waste or failing to comply with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control.

The fine for littering is £100 (with an early payment discount of £80) and £100 for any dog related offence, payable to District Enforcement within 14 days.  This gives an offender the opportunity to discharge their liability from being prosecuted by paying the FPN, however court proceedings will be initiated should the offender choose not to pay the FPN, with the maximum fine for littering being £2,500 and a potential conviction at a Magistrates Court.

There are no formal grounds of appeal against an FPN and failing to give your name and address is an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1990 Section 88 (8B).

Roger Small, Chair of the Operational Management Committee at Fylde Council said: Fylde Council is committed to a clean and healthy environment free from indiscriminate littering or the disgusting mess left by owners failing to clean up after their dogs. These are the biggest source of complaints we receive from our residents and we are determined to deal with these problems. We have spent a lot of time looking at what our neighbouring authorities are doing to solve this in their areas and have concluded that as District Enforcement are operating locally, they should be tasked to operate here in Fylde.

It is important for everyone to note that if you drop litter or do not clean up after your dog you will be risking a hefty fine. Please help us to make Fylde a clean environment for everyone.”

Colin Buchanan Head of Operations at District Enforcement added:  “District Enforcement is excited to be working in partnership with Fylde Council and play our part in keeping such a beautiful borough clean and tidy, with our sole ambition to reduce the amount of littering and dog fouling on the streets.

We have a dedicated team of officers who will, on a daily basis, patrol the whole borough and take a fair and proportionate approach to the issuance of a fixed penalty notice for any environmental crime offences they witness. It has been noted from a survey carried out by Keep Britain Tidy, dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering which is found on 79% of the streets surveyed as part of their Local Environmental Quality Survey. The issue with cigarettes is that they take up to 12 years to degrade – during which time they leak harmful toxins. These same butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures.

I am confident that using our model of ‘Engagement, Education and Enforcement’, along with the deployment of enhanced technology, we will assist in playing our part in reducing litter – and we hope you, as the public, do too.”

Further information with regards to the environmental enforcement process, including frequently asked questions are available on our website here.

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