Private firm will issue £40 fines for littering

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A YORKSHIRE council is set to hire a private sector enforcement firm to tackle “low-level antisocial behaviour” such as littering and dog fouling in its town centre.

Barnsley council is proposing a 12-month pilot scheme and says there will be no cost to the tax-payer as the initiative will be funded by revenue brought in from fines.

The partnership will see the equivalent of 2.5 full-time posts provided. Workers will be attached to the police’s Central Safer Neighbourhood Team and wear the uniform of the Community Safety and Enforcement service.

The authority says new officers will carry cameras while on duty so enforcement activity can be monitored.

Roy Miller of Barnsley council said the cost of clearing up “after the careless minority who casually throw their litter or simply walk away from the mess their dog has left” is more than £1 million a year.

Cllr Miller explained: “For every correct penalty fine they issue, the contracted company will receive £40. If, at the end of the year, not enough tickets have been issued to cover the costs of the new roles, they will bear that loss, not the council. We also don’t stand to make any money from the enterprise if the company make a profit.”

He added: “However, we are not teaming up with anyone to make money for them or the council. We are addressing a continued blight on our environment and landscape in an innovative and cost-effective way.”