ENFORCERS employed to target dog fouling, graffiti and litter in Portsmouth expect to hand out more than 4,000 fines a year.
Portsmouth City Council will let private company 3GS issue on-the-spot fines for crimes including dog fouling, graffiti and littering in the street.
Council cabinet members have approved the plan, which will see enforcement officers from 3GS patrolling the streets from May.
Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said there would be a review of the scheme after six months.
He said: ‘It’s not going to cost the taxpayers anything because it should all be paid for by the fines issued by this company to people who are inconsiderate or who allow their dogs to foul and don’t clean up after them.’
Other crimes subject to on-the-spot fines include unauthorised distribution of literature and having dogs off the lead in a prohibited area. Littering offences can be as minor as throwing a cigarette butt on the ground.
3GS estimates it will issue between 4,000 and 6,000 fines a year, but will not set targets and its officers will not receive commission based on the number of fines issued.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the company was not paying for the right to run the scheme and the council would neither make a profit nor loss from it.
Cllr Darren Sanders said he had often heard complaints about dog mess.
‘It’s something that crops up time and time again. I’m delighted that this administration is finally doing something about it,’ he said.
‘This is an excellent proposal that’s finally enabling us to get tough on people who ruin other people’s lives.’
Cllr Lee Hunt also welcomed the scheme, but said people needed to know about the penalties before they were enforced.
He said: ‘This is not a “softly, softly” approach, this is a major step change.
‘Be under no illusions – some people are going to get caught, they’re going to say it’s totally unjustifiable and they’re going to be really annoyed. But they can avoid it by putting their rubbish in their pocket, keeping Britain tidy, keeping Portsmouth tidy, and picking up after their dogs.’
The council’s Conservative group leader Cllr Donna Jones spoke in favour of the crackdown, but questioned the need to include the offence of unauthorised distribution of literature.
‘We just need to make sure that we’re clear on the types of unauthorised literature that we mean by that.’