Mixed Views on Litter Police

If you go to the Facebook group W&PBC Compliments, Complaints and Observations you too can have your say and become more involved in influencing local decision making.

One of the current topics being discussed concerns littering in Weymouth & Portland. It was started by a post from Simon Averyozog:

‘I have had a mail from a person who works as a littler enforcement officer and as I have said I am properly against the whole practise of using sub contractors who are in business to make as much money as they can I am pretty sure the mail I received will hopefully go towards getting rid of the street bullies.’  

“Hi Simon, I’ve seen your post about litter enforcement in Weymouth, 
I would ask that you do not disclose my name on any posts all will become clear,
I’m currently employed as a litter enforcement officer, I won’t be staying long if I can help it believe me.

Some questions you could ask might be what enforcement are employed to do how they are expected to act?

The gov uk Webb site states we should give people the opportunity to pick up the offending litter before we issue a fixed penalty notice, I totally agree!
The company 3GS DON’T teach you this, they are pushing for tickets to be issued, they don’t inform you to have discretion!

I have tried to be a visual deterrent and it’s worked to a degree, and I’m ashamed that I even took the job, at my interview I asked about tickets and was informed there are no targets!

Today was the final straw!

What degree of say does Weymouth and Portland council have in how a company they effectively sub contract behave and are trained?
I believe there are a lot of Spanish practises!

I will not allow my morals to be compromised again but I don’t want 3GS to dismiss me just yet or on a disciplinary!

I hope you will respect my request to stay anonymous at least for the time being, 
If you want any more answers for any questions then please ask.”

Weymouth

Below are just a small number of responses:

Councillor James Farquharson:

‘Council staff were given ample opportunity to modify how they work to tackle dog fouling and littering. 

After a year of unbelievable dodging and procrastinating from them, it became apparent there would be no solution there. 

Unwilling to just say “Oh well, that’s impossible then. We’ll have to live in a town where our neighbours and visitors hate us so much they’ll treat it as a free landfill site” I introduced the 3GS services and it was adopted. 

As far as I’m concerned, as soon as someone drops litter or doesn’t pick up after their dog, they are absolutely guilty of gross disrespect to everyone else and should absolutely not be given an opportunity to get away with it. 

If I had my way, I’d make them pay the fine and then force them to leave the town forever. 

These people don’t care about you and me and I’d rather they took their abhorrent attitude elsewhere.’

Colin Hatch 

 in order to clarify something I feel I should say that, in a conversation with a litter enforcement officer, I told him that I dread the day I pull a sweet paper out of my pocket if i am being watched, or if I accidentally drop one of my bus tickets.


The reply was, that if it is seen to be an accident as I just described, that is what it would be identified as. But if I had flicked or deliberately thrown something down, I should expect a fine>

I then asked more questions and was told, children and the vulnerable would not be fined. In the case of children making a deliberate act of litter throwing, if they were with an adult, they would be told to advise the children accordingly. 

I hope this helps to clarify this point.

James Farquharson ‘Exactly. The service is not in place to punish those without responsibility; it’s to punish the irresponsible.’

James Farquharson (responding to a question pertaining to the litter in the town centre)

‘There are a lot of issues that wouldn’t respond to this service: open top litter bins (wind/seagulls), commercial waste being left out without being placed in seagull proof bags, people incapacitated from taking full responsibility for their actions, shear weight of numbers, etc.

I want to fix the commercial waste issue. I also want to replace the open top bins with swingtops. That’d be a good start.’

We started with Simon so we shall finish with him:

‘…So we are clear. I am absolutely in agreement that those who deliberately throw litter on the ground and refuse to pick it up should be punished.. If I see anyone drop litter I can promise you I am on their case.. I do not however agree that enforcement should not give that person a chance to pick it up instead fine them, and yes repeating myself but fining for a profit based company…’

And 

‘Accidental littering

Don’t issue FPNs for accidental littering, for example if something falls from someone’s pocket.

Only issue FPNs where there is evidence of intent to drop litter.
Give offenders the chance to pick up litter before you issue an FPN. Warn them that you will issue an FPN if they don’t. Taken from the government website.. I am hearing many stories that these two points are not being followed and therefor a question as to the validity of any FPN issued should be questioned.You can join the group and take the debate further…’

Which side do you sympathise with the most?

Control through pecuniary means OR Education OR other means?