Environmental enforcement officers are now on patrol in the Vale of Glamorgan as new measures to tackle littering and environmental crime have come into effect.
Littering, dog fouling, and graffiti will all be tackled by specialist officers who have the power to issue on-the-spot penalties of £75. The officers, who have been brought in by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, will be patrolling streets, parks, playing fields and open spaces throughout the Vale and have legal powers to stop anyone they see committing an environmental crime such as littering. Covert operations and investigations will also be carried out to tackle fly-tipping.
Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Council, said: “The latest Keep Wales Tidy figures show that the Vale of Glamorgan has some of the cleanest streets in Wales. However, our public spaces can still be blighted by environmental crimes such as littering and dog fouling.
“We always aim to tackle offences such as this through education and do a great amount of work with local communities and in the Vale’s schools. However, where crimes are being committed there is also a need for strict enforcement action. It is hoped that introducing these new measures will act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to commit these types of offences and, in turn, it will be making the Vale a cleaner, greener place to live, work, and visit.
“The officers will be on patrol across the Vale and a number of problem areas that will receive extra patrols have already been identified.”
Anyone stopped by the enforcement officers, employed by private enforcement company 3GS, and issued with a fixed penalty notice will be requested to provide their name, address and proof of identity. Failure to comply could result in a criminal prosecution and fine of up to £1000 (level 3), together with a criminal conviction. The officers will wear body cameras and footage of alleged offenders who fail to cooperate with officers will be shared with the police.
The team will also be targeting irresponsible business owners who are failing to ensure rubbish is disposed of correctly. In these cases fixed penalty notices of up to £300 can be issued.
Paul Buttivant, Managing Director of 3GS, said: “We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council. We’d like to reassure the community that only those who choose to ignore the law will be dealt with by our officers by way of a fixed penalty notice. Our mission is to support local authorities across the UK by providing them with an ethical, uncontroversial, proactive and focused enforcement service to tackle enviro-crime and help them reach their cleaner, greener aspirations.”
Any member of the public can report an environmental crime for investigation by emailing email@example.com or calling 01446 700111.