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Litter officers: The chance to have your say.

Byline: LIAM THORP Politics Reporter liam.thorp@trinitymirror.com @LIAMTHORPECHO

THE Government is asking for YOUR views on whether litter officers - like those employed by Kingdom on Merseyside - are acting appropriately.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a new consultation called "Reducing litter; Proportionate enforcement" - and is asking the public to share its views on how local councils in England go about issuing fixed penalties for littering and other offences.

This issue has become a frequent topic of debate in Merseyside - ever since councils such as Liverpool and Wirral launched partnerships with controversial private enforcement firm Kingdom.

While Kingdom's work on both sides of the water has certainly been lucrative and hailed as successful in keeping the streets clean by both authorities, there have been countless complaints from the public regarding the conduct of some enforcement officers.

This has included claims that officers have deliberately targeted older and more vulnerable people, have issued fines to people who have dropped litter accidentally and have acted in an intimidating manner.

Now those affected have a chance to speak out. Announcing the consultation, a statement from DEFRA said: "We want to know what you think about our guidance on proportionate and effective use of fixed penalties for littering and related offences.

"The guidance is relevant for other environmental fixed penalty powers such as for abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping, parking, and offences related to domestic waste bins.

"We committed in the Litter Strategy for England to publish improved guidance to promote proportionate and responsible enforcement.

"We intend to put this guidance into the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. Land managers in England have to have regard to this code."

If you want to share your views of how councils are currently enforcing issues like litter, you have until 11.45pm on June 8 to join the Government's survey. | The survey can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environment/reducing-litter-proportionate-enforcement/

CAPTION(S):

A sign warning of litter wardens operating undercover in Wirral

Jeff Hughes, from Wirral, was given an PS80 fine by Kingdom litter wardens for dropping a cherry stone on grass outside Birkenhead Library. The fine was later dropped by Wirral Council

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 9, 2018
Words:366
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