Private litter enforcers in Northampton will fine smokers £80 for discarding cigarettes

This photo of rubbish in Middlemore, Southfields, was sent in by a reader this week. JU4F7iu0wkKGCCH6Z3c3

This photo of rubbish in Middlemore, Southfields, was sent in by a reader this week. JU4F7iu0wkKGCCH6Z3c3

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A team of two private enforcers will begin issuing on-the-spot fines to litterbugs on Monday as part of the 
borough council’s plan to crack down on mess – including cigarette butts.

The enforcers from private company 3GS Environmental Solutions will begin patrolling the streets from Monday – issuing £80 penalties tackle people who drop litter or leave dog mess.

The company is being contracted at no cost to the council, but it will retain all of the money it collects from fines. A spokesperson for Northampton Borough Council confirmed this week that an £80 fine can be issued for anyone caught dropping cigarette ends.

Over the past three days the team of two have been on an “induction week” it is understood, and have been visiting areas of the town to find the areas where littering is a problem. The enforcers will not have a remit to pick up fly-tipped waste or bulky items, but are due to start properly on Monday.

Councillor Rufia Ashraf (Lab, St James) has long campaigned to see her ward cleared up, and says the move is a step in the right direction.

She said; “I think it is about time we had something - but it will only work as long as this company is robust in its enforcement.”

Leader of Northampton Borough Council Councillor Mary Markham said: “Carrying out more enforcement with a visible presence over and above the service already provided by our environmental wardens should act as a deterrent and send a very clear message that we will not tolerate behaviour that turns Northampton into an unclean and untidy town.”

The company, 3GS, claims that between 75 and 80 per cent of all people fined end up paying. It is currently operating a similar model in Brighton.

Non-payment of the crime will be treated as a criminal offence. However, early repayment will reduce the fine to £50.