The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s new squad of “environmental enforcement officers” have now begun clamping down on fly-tipping, littering, graffiti vandals and irresponsible dog-owners who don’t pick up after their pets.
The officers are – literally – “private eyes“. They’re employed by the private security firm 3GS UK Ltd and are equipped with body-worn cameras which will provide irrefutable audio and video evidence of their encounters with members of the public.
The teams can meet-out on-the-spot fines of £75 per incident – and miscreants who refuse to stump-up on the scene of the crime can face fines of £1,000.
The Vale Council says the officers will be patrolling streets, parks, playing fields and open spaces throughout the Vale and have legal powers to stop anyone they see committing an environmental crime such as littering and graffiti or dropping a cigarette end.
The officers are also authorised to carry out what the Vale describes as “Covert operations and investigations” to tackle other nuisances like fly-tipping.
Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Council says “our public spaces can still be blighted by environmental crimes such as littering and dog fouling. He says “It is hoped that introducing these new measures will act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to commit these types of offences.”
The 3GS teams team will also be targeting “irresponsible business owners who are failing to ensure rubbish is disposed of correctly“. In these cases fixed penalty notices of up to £300 can be issued.
The firm points to a formidable reputation in prosecuting people who fail to pay the on-the-spot fines or who commit offences which end up in court action. The firm says that when it takes cases to court it achieves a “99% success rate”
Paul Buttivant, managing director of 3GS,says “Our mission is to support local authorities across the UK by providing them with an ethical, uncontroversial, proactive and focused enforcement service to tackle enviro-crime”
3GS Ltd says “Our objective is to deliver a balanced, professional and visible enforcement service to tackle environmental crime, such as littering and dog-fouling, that is Zero-Cost to the Council, whilst also ensuring residents are both informed and educated about the importance of maintaining a clean, green local environment.”
The firm says “To date, all our contracts, which are spread across the UK, have achieved average repayment rates of 75%-80% and have seen visible results”. The firm says that equates to a “Zero cost” to the contracting councils .