Jul 30 2009 By Liverpool City Council
A team of 90 enforcement officers will have the power to issue on-the-spot fines to anyone breaking environment laws, but they will also have a big role in providing information and advice to residents to prevent the problems arising in the first place.
They will be the front line in helping tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and will be working closely with the Police and Citysafe to monitor and report crime and anti-social behaviour taking place on the city's streets.
This new, uniformed service has been created from the merger of three separate council enforcement teams: street crime wardens, Enterprise Liverpool enforcement officers and waste management officers.
A test-run of the new service has already seen big improvements in the number of environment problems tackled and the number of fixed penalty notices issued. This improved, more visible service is expected to see the number of formal prosecutions fall in the longer term as residents and businesses become more aware of their environmental responsibilities.
Councillor Berni Turner, executive member for the environment, said: "The Environmental Enforcement Team will be working hard alongside community groups and residents to sort out problems before they get out of hand. I much prefer to see a positive approach to inform residents of how to dispose of rubbish properly, and to look after the environment. But the minority of irresponsible people who deliberately litter our streets, allow their dog to foul the pavements, dump rubbish or spray graffiti over walls will be caught and prosecuted."
Enforcement officers will patrol right across the city, working in every ward alongside staff from the city council's local neighbourhood teams. They will also be working evenings and weekends to stamp out illegal activity whenever it occurs. They will be familiar faces at neighbourhood and community meetings, where they will be taking up residents' concerns first-hand.
Councillor Marilyn Fielding, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: "This new service is tackling the issues that concern residents most. It's a key priority for the council to make our neighbourhoods safer and cleaner: this new service will help us achieve this important goal. By bringing together three teams into a single, unified service will provide a much more effective and targeted service. It's just what Liverpool needs."
A pilot of the new service has already seen big improvements. Last year, 500 investigations into fly tipping were carried out each month. That number has now risen to 700. In February this year, 336 spot fines for littering were issued. That figure has now risen to 500. Last year, 20 owners a month were caught and fined for not clearing up after their dog. Under the new Environmental Enforcement Team, that has increased to 56 per month.