What is environmental enforcement?
Environmental enforcement means issuing penalties for environmental crimes. These penalties are called Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs).
What is environmental crime?
Environmental crime means dog fouling, fly-tipping, littering and any other action which harms the environment.
Why do we do it?
Hastings Borough Council take environmental crime seriously. Why? Because we want Hastings to be a pleasant place for our residents and those that come here for work or leisure.
We know that you do too. That is why we work hard to keep the town tidy and clean. Part of this work unfortunately involves enforcement.
Why is enforcement necessary?
Environmental enforcement is necessary because environmental crime continues to happen across the borough. We keep getting complaints about environmental crime and so we have to take a tough stance against it.
What powers do we have to enforce?
We have a legal duty (so far as is practicable) to clear litter and refuse from public places that we are responsible for such as streets, parks, playgrounds and pedestrian areas. If a piece of private land is littered, the owner must accept responsibility for clearing the litter.
Since the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 became law, measures have been introduced enabling local authorities to issue FPNs to anyone committing an environmental crime that damages the local environment.
How do we enforce?
We enforce by issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to those committing environmental crimes in the borough. FPNs are issued for the offences of dropping litter. This includes items such as chewing gum, cigarette butts and fast food and other forms of litter such as wrapping. It also includes failing to pick up after your dog or not disposing of the dog litter in the correct way.
The FPNs we issue for those caught dropping litter are £80. The FPNs we issue for those not picking up after their dog are £100. There is no reduction for early payment.
Enforcement is carried out by uniformed council enforcement officers (wardens). These wardens have the power to issue FPNs. They operate around the borough.
From 3 July 2017, the council will be working in partnership with a private company to step up our efforts to keep Hastings clean and tidy. The company, Kingdom, will help our council wardens with enforcement of dog fouling and litter. They will do so for the next 6 months on a trial basis. If the trial proves successful the council may look to procure a contracted service going forward.
Officers from Kingdom will also have the authority to issue fines (Fixed Penalty Notices) for environmental crimes. Like council wardens, they will issue £80 FPNs for those caught deliberately dropping litter and £100 FPNs for those caught not clearing up after their dog. There will be no reduction in cost for early payment.
They will patrol across the borough based on intelligence from littering and fouling complaints to the council and information from our wardens. They are working for the council and for residents and visitors. With their help we can keep Hastings clean and tidy.
Kingdom enforcement officers will wear council branded uniforms, similar to the council's wardens. They will also wear body-worn cameras to ensure complete clarity of their interaction with people interviewed about alleged offences.
What else do we do to deal with environmental crime?
Enforcement is more than penalising environmental crimes after they have happened. It is also about preventing them from happening.
We have run a number of publicity campaigns to tackle the issue of environmental crime. More recently we have introduced two new Public Space Protection Orders to deal with dog fouling and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
What you can do to help
You can help us keep Hastings clean and tidy by reporting these problems to us when you notice them.
We have built an online form which allows anyone with an internet connection to report instances of littering, dog fouling, fly tipping and other issues quickly and easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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