Fall in litter and dog fouling across Doncaster

A civil enforcement officer at Doncaster Council writes a fine for littering.
A civil enforcement officer at Doncaster Council writes a fine for littering.
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Doncaster is looking into merging its 'environmental crime' enforcement team with that of Rotherham, after figures showed a 20 per cent fall in offences.

Figures for Doncaster in the first half of last year, compared with the same period in 2016, showed a plunge in the number of complaints over dog fouling and littering, as well as a reduction in the number of requests for anti-dog fouling stencils.

It follows the introduction of a new system involving private contractors dishing out fixed penalty notices.

Now talks have been held to look into bringing in a new arrangement which would see a private firm working jointly covering both Doncaster and Rotherham, which officials believe could save money as well as extend the coverage of the service.

The proposal goes before Doncaster Council cabinet next week.

A report by Doncaster Council's head of service regulation and enforcement, Tracey Harwood, enforcement manager Carolina Borgstrom: "Environmental Crimes do not differ or stop across authority boundaries, but instead travels with nuisance individuals between authority areas. As a result, increasing knowledge and providing an effective deterrence against these offences amongst members of the public in Rotherham is likely to be beneficial for the environment in Doncaster as well."

The proposal comes as figures show that for dog fouling, the number of complaints fell 24 per cent from 457 in the first half of 2106 to 349 in the first half of 2017. Littering complaints were down by 19 per cent from 1,352 to 1,091.

Doncaster Council signed a contract with Kingdom Security in January 2016 to provide additional environmental enforcement across the borough.

The contract includes offences relating to littering, smoking in smokefree place/vehicle, fly tipping, enforcement of Public Space Protection Orders including dog fouling and parking enforcement.

Its two year fixed period runs out next month January 2018, unless an option is taken up to extend it.

The current contract and requires Kingdom to provide sufficient staff to issue at least 3,500 fixed penalty notices and about 1,000 parking charge notices.PCN’s, mainly outside the town Centre.

The report stated if the proposed merger was implemented it was expected that contractors issue at least 8,000 fixed penalty notices in the first 12-month.

The contract would have to go out to tender before it could be brought in. But the report adds that if the tender delivered a similar priced service to what currently operates, Doncaster Council would pay the contractor £40 per correctly issued fixed penalty notice.

It is proposed that the council works with Rotherham to put in place an option for children taking part in restorative justice, instead of paying a cash fine, similar to what currently is in place in Doncaster.

Doncaster Council still evaluates evidence, issues the fines, hears appeals and takes cases to court it the fineis not paid.

The council also briefs Kingdom staff weekly to ensure patrols are spread across the borough and target the areas where complaints from our residents are received.

Kingdom staff wear council uniform and body cameras.

Since January 2016 Kingdom staff have patrolled 72 separate areas in the Doncaster. During that time, Kingdom has gathered evidence to enable the Council to issue over 13,507 fixed penalty notices for littering, 231 for dog fouling, 70 for other PSPO contraventions and 2245 penalty charge notices for parking offences.

The report says the contract has been successful in delivering the objectives of increasing enforcement resources and additional income earmarked to improve investigation and enforcement for complex fly tipping cases.