First month of environmental enforcement action sees 433 people receive penalty notice

Cllr Banks and enforcement officers at Grovehill shops

Since the beginning of November, we've upped our commitment to making Dacorum a cleaner and safer place to live, work and visit by partnering with District Enforcement, a company that specialises in environmental enforcement.

Between 1 and 30 November 2021, 433 people have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £80 after they were caught either deliberately dropping litter, cigarette waste or breaching our Public Spaces Protection Orders in the borough.

The most common form of littering so far has been discarded cigarette waste, which has accounted for more than 66 per cent of FPNs issued, or a total of 286.

As well handing out fines for littering, officers have issued FPNs for dog fouling, persons not being in control of their dog and for failure to keep a dog out of an enclosed play area or keep it three metres away from play equipment.

District Enforcement Officers have been patrolling Dacorum seven days a week, including town centres, our parks and open spaces, and areas that have been identified as ‘hot spots’.

Cllr Julie Banks, our Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services (pictured above with District Enforcement Officers), said: “We want to make Dacorum a cleaner and safer place, and for people to be proud of where they live, work and visit. This is why we are now taking a targeted approach to fine people who think it is acceptable to drop litter on our streets and not pick up after their dogs.

“The first month of enforcement action has highlighted that people don’t regard cigarette waste as litter, which has led to a high number of fines. Dropping cigarette butts is still littering and not disposing of them properly harms the environment and makes our streets look untidy. As well as plastic, cigarette filters are made up of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which can end up in our waterways and be highly toxic to fish and other marine animals.

“I am also particularly pleased to see that FPNs have been issued for dog fouling, which is an emotive issue and one that the public frequently bring to the attention of councillors. We have already noticed a change of behaviour within high foot fall areas. This just goes to show education plays a key element within our service delivery.”

Dyl Kurpil, Managing Director at District Enforcement, added: “We have a dedicated team of officers who, on a daily basis, patrol the borough and take a fair and proportionate approach to the issuance of a Fixed Penalty Notice for any environmental crime offences they witness. This new partnership between District Enforcement and Dacorum Borough Council has proved to be a successful one and we look forward working with each other in the future.”

We have given District Enforcement powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of £80 for littering and breaches of our PSPOs. Should the FPN not be paid, the offender could face prosecution and a potential fine of up to £2,500.

Enviro-crime officers receive intensive training and ongoing professional development to maintain high standards. They also wear body cameras to capture interaction between officers and members of the public.

You can find more information about District Enforcement and our new policy of issuing Fixed Penalty Notices on District Enforcement's website or find out more about our Public Spaces Protection Orders

Fixed Penalty Notices breakdown

The range of offences and number of people fined in November 2021 is as follows:

  • Littering - 302 FPNs
  • PSPO skateboarding or cycling - 107 FPNs
  • Spitting - 15 FPNs
  • Dog control - 5 FPNs
  • Urinating and street drinking - 4 FPNs