East Hampshire litter penalties halve after privatisation reversal

Figures have shown the number of fines for litter and dog fouling has halved for East Hampshire District Council, after it replaced private enforcement officers with its own staff.

The local authority said 1,454 fixed penalty notices were issued by its litter enforcement contractor Kingdom Services in 2015-16.

However, the following year, the authority's own patrol officers issued 719 tickets. In 2016 the authority set up an in-house firm, EH Commercial Services (EHCS), employing four enforcement officers to patrol litter ‘hot spots’.

It reported 87 per cent of people had paid the £80 fines for dropping litter and £50 penalties for dog mess.

The news comes after a recent undercover Panorama report found the firm paid bonuses for issuing fines, with one officer claiming to have earned an extra £987 in one month.

Kingdom currently has about 28 contracts with local authorities and last year saw its profits jump 30 per cent to £9 million.

The council said it ‘recognised the challenges of a ‘wholly commercial approach and culture’.

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