2,000 fixed penalty tickets in two years in Fenland to curb those who drop cigarette butts, don’t pick up their dog mess and spit in public

Enforcement officials from Kingdom checking out a suspected offender for littering in Wisbech. Part

Enforcement officials from Kingdom checking out a suspected offender for littering in Wisbech. Part of a crackdown by Fenland Council they say is cost neutral. Picture: KINGDOM - Credit: Archant

More than 2,000 fixed penalty notices have been issued by enforcement agents since Fenland Council toughened their stance against dog fouling, littering and spitting in public.

The council says the contract with Kingdom that came into force mid way through 2017 has been a success and is cost neutral.

Wisbech is a hot spot for targeting offenders and councillors were told recently that in November last year, for instance, of 50 tickets issued, the town attracted the bulk of them.

Of the 50 issued only five were handed out in March (all for parking offences) whilst in Wisbech 39 tickets were issued for dropping litter (including cigarette butts) and six for spitting. Chatteris and Whittlesey were ticket free zones.

However doubt has been cast over whether Fenland Council will be able to continue its joint contract with Peterborough City Council through which Kingdom officers are employed.

Peterborough council says it is reviewing the contract following complaints and this could impact on the Fenland contract- even though a new, two year extension was announced earlier this year.

A council spokesperson said: "We are aware that Peterborough City Council (PCC) has announced it may replace the work undertaken by Kingdom Services Group by its own enforcement teams in the next 12 months.

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"We are currently in discussions with PCC and Kingdom as to what this change will mean for Fenland as the existing contract Fenland District Council has with Kingdom is a shared partnership one with PCC."

The spokesperson added: "We will be exploring various options as the contract continues over the coming months to establish a recommendation for members should the two year contract, which commenced in February 2019, be terminated early.

"We remain committed to keeping our district clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy, and providing a successful deterrent to littering, dog fouling and breaches of public space protection orders at no extra cost to the council."

The spokesperson insisted the existing contract with Kingdom "provides a cost-neutral service and has resulted in more than 2,000 fixed penalty notices for environmental offences being served since June 2017".

A recent council report revealed that only two thirds of fixed penalty money is collected.

Portfolio holder Cllr Peter Murphy said earlier this year: "Before we began our pilot with Kingdom back in June 2017, residents had made it clear to us that they wanted us to crackdown on those who blight our streets and green spaces with their environmental crimes."