A report has recommended rejecting a plan to allow parks staff in Lichfield and Burntwood to hand out fines for littering.

Litter in Beacon Park

The feasibility study had taken place over whether such a scheme may help tackle the problem of environmental crimes in the area.

Lichfield District Council currently employs two part time enforcement officers.

But the report said their focus was often on other issues.

“Under normal circumstances, these officers undertake work relating to patrols primarily relating to dog fouling.

“Whilst a very difficult offence to catch, the team do serve several fixed penalty notices per year. Where these are unpaid, the perpetrator is prosecuted.

“Work in relation to littering is more limited and generally covers hotspot areas where these are highlighted and can be patrolled.

“The enforcement officers have carried out less work in these primary areas through 2020 and into 2021 because they have been drawn away to other duties including assistance with food deliveries for the vulnerable as well as COVID enforcement work.”

Lichfield District Council report

But after exploring whether parks staff having the power to hand out fixed penalty notices for things such as littering, the report explained that the idea had “numerous” disadvantages.

“Training would be needed on issues such as criminal justice procedures and enforcement techniques which are time consuming and require resourcing. These are by no means low cost courses.

“While some park staff may well be enthusiastic about the role, there will be others who are not skilled or have the aptitude to enter into what are confrontational situations.

“This is true when recruiting enforcement officers so it follows that park staff who didn’t necessarily want this role would be even more reluctant.

“The recommendation is that the use of parks staff to issue environmental crime fixed penalty notices is not recommended at the current time.”

Lichfield District Council report

The report will be discussed at a meeting of the regulatory and licensing committee at Lichfield District Council on Thursday (25th February).

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5 Comments

  1. If gatherings have been outlawed how come there is so much litter? Are these areas not being policed correctly?

  2. Disappointing but understandable and I realise that confrontation by untrained personnel could lead to problems.
    That being said, there is a major problem with litter in Lichfield as can be seen by the amount of litter collected by Lichfield Litter Legends.
    Last year we collected 2,187 bags of litter from Lichfield streets, parks and open spaces. This year alone, and we have not yet come to the end of February, we have collected 1,080 bags and are going back time and time again to the same spots to clean up after thoughtless people.

  3. Other towns and cities have got their act together and enforce litter dropping with fines,I think the real problem is the council can’t be bothered

  4. The problem is one of irresponsibility. People need to be responsible for their own waste. Reminds me of the dog poo debacle. Why should someone else go pick up any waste I may have left behind because I might have adopted an uncaring selfish attitude. Waste can hold all sorts of hidden dangers and is a risk. World leaders are trying to encourage all of us to be more responsible regarding our waste and in our recycling efforts to try and save this beautiful planet. Guidance from the top down. Now this has to progress at a grass roots level with the individual. Stop dropping litter, stop leaving your litter behind, take it home or put it in the bins provided. Who likes soiling their own backyard. Perhaps more signs, more education via TV, press and the social media might help.

  5. I understand Walsall gives out fines of £80 for throwing chewing gum and cigarette ends down. There is a difference between assertion and aggression so local councils need to up their training. Littering is an offence to Council Tax Payers.

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