District Council confirms its commitment to continue to tackle environmental crime

Posted on: Thursday, July 14, 2022

THIS week, Newark and Sherwood District Council has confirmed that it will continue its vital work to clamp down on environmental crime in the district. 

Councillors agreed to begin the tendering process for a third-party company to ensure perpetrators of environmental crimes continue to be issued with the punishments best befitting the crime, following a successful one year pilot with Waste Investigations, Support and Enforcement (WISE).

In partnership with WISE, the District Council began the pilot project in October 2021 to combat environmental crimes such as dog fouling and litter and enforce breaches of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) relating to dog control.

Since the pilot began, over 2000 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) have been issued for several offences, including 1689 for cigarette littering, 73 for food and food packaging litter and 24 for dog fouling.

The District Council will be seeking a range of tenders from enforcement providers.

Councillor Roger Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Safer, Cleaner, Greener at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: "Over the past few months, our partnership with WISE has been proven to support our work towards a Safer, Cleaner, Greener Newark and Sherwood. I am pleased our commitment to continue this vital work was approved at our Cabinet meeting this week.

"The pilot scheme has worked very well, and cracking down on those who commit environmental crimes remains a priority. I hope the increase in FPNs issued stops those who would repeat offend and deters others from doing the same. 

"Our district should be a place for all to enjoy, and those who continue to blight the local area with littering and waste must be held accountable. The programme's message remains clear, don't do it, and we won't be after you."

Currently, WISE officers patrol the district daily, prioritising hotspot areas based on local intelligence. However, the District Council will ensure that the new contract will focus on the best geographical split of the district to ensure that environmental crime is tackled head on and effectively across the district. 

The District Council is keen to ensure that residents know this scheme operates at a neutral cost to the taxpayer, and Councillor Jackson explains further, "We do not pay for this service. A significant proportion of the money paid in FPNs goes to the contractor for delivering the service to us. Any remaining money is used in legal fees, should anyone challenge an FPN, and the remainder is reinvested into Cleaner, Safer, Greener initiatives. 

Councillor Jackson concludes, "We aim to change people's behaviour over the long term. Littering is not acceptable; it poses a risk to humans and wildlife whilst being a blight on our beautiful district. It is hoped that this partnership working will act as a strong deterrent and change the habits of those small numbers who ruin it for the rest of us."

For more information on Fixed Penalty Notices, visit our website: https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/communitysafety/fixed-penalty-notices/.