Visitors to Northampton town centre should notice a marked improvement in the levels of street cleanliness following the introduction of an environmental enforcement contract aimed at targeting littering offences.
A team of six environmental enforcement officers from Kingdom Services Group Ltd, contracted by Northampton Borough Council, has issued 2,218 fixed penalty notices since they began their work in and around the town centre on January 24, with most tickets being issued to the 20-29 age group.
Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said he believed that town centre cleanliness is improving and that the officers have received positive feedback and thanks for their work.
He said: “People need to face up to the consequences of their actions and these fines demonstrate our 'no tolerance' approach to littering.”
Now levels of littering are beginning to reduce in the town centre, officers are starting to work in all wards across the borough, but will still maintain a presence in the town.
Education remains a key part of the officers’ work, and they regularly speak with people smoking in the street to remind them that they need to dispose of their cigarette butts in the nearest litter bin.
A council spokeswoman said there is also a "robust and reasonable" appeals process and that individual circumstances will be taken into account.
She said: "Anyone who feels they have been unfairly issued with a fine is urged to contact the number on the paperwork as soon as possible, because the fine amount increases after ten days."
The contract with Kingdom is set to run for an initial three-year period and will be paid for entirely from the proceeds of enforcement action. The council stressed that a key aspect of the contract is that officers do not receive any commission or bonuses based on the number of fines they issue.
Anyone with concerns about littering in a particular area can contact the enforcement team at: firstname.lastname@example.org