Private-hire litter and dog poo wardens with bodycams to patrol Solihull

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Wardens are to be deployed on the streets of Solihull in a clampdown on those who drop litter and don’t clean up after their dog.

The borough council has agreed to pilot a scheme which will give powers to a private company to issue £75 fines to culprits (reduced to £50 if paid in seven days).

The enforcement officers – who will wear bodycams – are being brought in after the local authority admitted that low-level environmental crime was not currently a priority for its own team, which tends to focus on issues such as problems in privately rented properties.

Those who refuse to pay the penalties face being taken to court.

Cllr Alison Rolf, cabinet member for stronger communities and partnerships, approved the plans last night (Thursday) and said that some of the behaviour, which she had witnessed herself, was “disgusting”.

“What I would like to see is somebody get caught and us be able to blaze it across the whole of the local media, just to try and dissuade people,” she said.

“How many times do you drive behind someone and they’re chucking stuff out of the window of their car? … I do think we need to be seen to be more into the enforcement side of it as well as educating people that this isn’t the way to behave.”

Caroline Naven, head of neighbourhood and regulatory services, said that the two-year pilot would be run with NSL (the firm which currently polices Solihull’s car parks).

There had been discussions about whether wardens should wear a dark-coloured uniform in order to “blend in”, but Ms Naven believed that high-vis jackets would have the benefit of adding another uniformed presence to the streets.

It is envisaged that the costs of the trial will be covered by the fines that are doled out to perpetrators, although a report presented to councillors admits that the local authority could be out of pocket if the penalties do not meet the costs involved.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Green, Smith’s Wood) said: “It’s an interesting development really. It’s a bit sad that we haven’t, as a council, got our own resources or there’s a resource issue.”

Cllr Glenis Slater, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “I very much welcome this, I think it’s a fantastic idea … And hopefully we can tackle some of those hotspots where it’s very difficult to litter pick.”

Solihull Police has said that while it would not be involved in the enforcement, it would want to work “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the council to promote the scheme.

Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/private-hire-dog-poo-wardens-14846049