Stamping on the litter bugs
LITTER louts will soon be hit in their pockets with heavy fines by police in a special operation starting on April Fools Day. But this is no joke. Sandy has been chosen by Mid Beds District Council and Bedfordshire police for a pilot scheme to clean up th
LITTER louts will soon be hit in their pockets with heavy fines by police in a special operation starting on April Fools Day.
But this is no joke.
Sandy has been chosen by Mid Beds District Council and Bedfordshire police for a pilot scheme to clean up the streets and to get the message across that there will no hiding place for those who throw their rubbish away in public places.
From April 1, those people committing what the council and police say are enviro-crimes in Sandy, such as dropping litter, chewing gum and cigarette ends, spraying graffiti and flyposting, will need to beware as Mid Beds District Council and the police are working together on a trial scheme to stamp out this behaviour.
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In addition to their usual duties in the town, police community support officers (PCSOs) will look out for people committing these crimes and arrange for fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to be given where necessary.
The FPNs are issued on behalf of Mid Beds District Council, which will process, chase and if appropriate seek to prosecute for non-payment of the fine. The fine accompanying a FPN is £75, which is reduced to £50 for prompt payment within 14 days.
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The three-month trial is the first of its kind in Bedfordshire and necessitated a substantial co-operation between Mid Beds District Council and Bedfordshire Police.
Rob Parsons, Mid Beds District Council's community safety manager, said: "Our aim is that the threat of fixed penalty notices will act as a deterrent for would-be offenders and that a minimal amount of FPNs will actually be issued. We want as far as is practical to educate and change attitudes rather than enforce."
Ch Insp Neill Waring, from Bedfordshire Police, added: "We are delighted to partner Mid Beds District Council on another initiative aimed at making our community a better place to live and work.
"Although litter in Sandy is no worse than anywhere else, there is a minority of people who throw their rubbish on the ground. These tickets will be an expensive reminder that this type of behaviour is not acceptable.
"This initiative fits in nicely with the whole concept of neighbourhood policing that we are delivering through safer neighbourhood teams and we look forward to developing more innovative projects with colleagues from partnership agencies."
Trevor Stewart, clerk to Sandy Town Council, said: "The town council supports this move 100 per cent.
"The council is very much in favour of this initiative and it should have happened sooner.
"There are certain areas of the town that have major problems with litter. These are around the Market Square and in Fallowfield.
"Hopefully this legislation and this initiative will go a long way to cleaning up the town and keeping it clean.