PRIVATE enforcement officers are being deployed by Bournemouth council to clamp down on those dropping litter and letting their dogs foul on the streets.

The brainchild of Cllr David Smith, the authority’s cabinet member for environment, the plan will see five employees of private enforcement firm 3GS patrolling the streets from Monday.

The council will be making no payment to 3GS, with the firm instead being allowed to keep the revenue it generates from the £75 fines it issues.

Cllr Smith told the Daily Echo he hopes in time their duties could be expanded to include pursuing others committing anti-social behaviour, such as skateboarders infringing council Public Space Protection Orders.

He said he decided to pursue the idea because residents had become “fed up” with anti-social behaviour, with dog fouling and littering among infringements the council is allowed to outsource for enforcement.

“I am hopeful that this will have quite an impact on the behaviour of people in this town when they throw their litter around,” he said at a recent council meeting, explaining the idea.

“There is no cost to the council apart from maybe a desk and a phone somewhere.

“And they are going to be responsible for dishing out all the tickets, collecting all the fines and following up legally with those who don’t pay.”

He said they will initially begin on a 12-month trial and will operate on a mobile basis throughout the borough.

“There are numerous other powers they can be given by the council and depending on the trial we might roll out further things we want them to deal with, if time permits and if they want to do it and we want them to do it,” Cllr Smith added.

He said regular monthly meetings will be held with the enforcement officers’ management to “discuss any operational issues”.

“We often read about the granny who drops her tissue and gets fined a load of money – and it is very bad news – well [3GS] are very pragmatic about all of this.

“They are going to be open for negotiation and discussion if we have these kind of tickets that are given out.”

He said as the trial develops consideration will be given to whether more or less of the officers are needed and whether the hours worked, which will begin with 9-5 shifts, should be extended.

"I believe there is overwhelming public support for this," Cllr Smith added.

  • Officers from 3GS will have the same powers as the council's civil enforcement team.

The firm says that it specialises in "environmental compliance", providing patrolling officers issuing fixed penalty notices on behalf of the council.

Under the terms of the agreement, no targets will be set for issuing fines and 3GS is prohibited from paying its officers any form of performance pay, commission or bonuses linked in any way to the number of tickets individual officers issue.

Tickets for littering will be issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Tickets for for dog mess will be issued under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.

Latest statistics from Bournemouth council showed the authority had issued just one penalty notice for dog fouling this year and none last year. The council was unable to provide statistics on the number of fines issued for littering before the Daily Echo went to press.