Enforcement officers have issued almost 600 fixed penalty fines for littering, flyposting and graffiti in the last three months, Canterbury City Council can reveal.
And in the same period four fines have been issued for flytipping and three cases are working their way through the courts.
The news comes as the council launches its 12-month Love Where We Live campaign on Valentine’s Day (Wednesday 14 February).
Designed to persuade people not to drop their litter, let their dog foul without clearing it up, daub graffiti or flytip rubbish, it taps into the overwhelming sense of pride of those who live and work in the district. It also reminds offenders they will be fined if they are caught.
Chairman of Canterbury City Council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “The vast majority of us recognise that we live and work in a beautiful part of the country and we want it to stay that way.
“We want to prick the conscience of the mindless litterbug, the lazy dog owner, the vandal armed with a marker pen or the greedy flytipper out to make a quick buck who refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions.
“The Love Where We Live campaign is also the perfect place to thank all of those volunteers who give up their valuable time to pick up the litter left by others. Actions speak louder than words and they demonstrate that they love where they live week in and week out.
“We want people living in the district and businesses to get involved as well as sharing our message on their own social media accounts.”
During the past 12 months, the council has:
- Employed 11 new enforcement officers
- Introduced a dedicated enforcement officer in a van that clears up flytips while hunting down the culprits
- Prosecuted and fined a host of flytippers
- Released shocking footage of flytippers in the act
- Crushed a lorry used to dump rubbish in the district’s country lanes
- Installed CCTV cameras in flytipping hotspots
- Prosecuted a breeder for leaving dead puppies strewn across the road
- Produced a range of printed and online litter action guides to help people report abandoned trolleys, burnt-out cars, flytips, graffiti and littering
- Launched a new website that helps people to report flytips etc more easily
- Supported volunteer litter picks throughout the district
- Written to landlords of shared houses to remind them of their responsibility to help their tenants dispose of their waste properly
- Started the process of setting up a student recycling scheme alongside the district’s universities
- Worked with media and design students at Canterbury College on a creative project or campaign aimed at reducing littering.
Over the next 12 months there are a range of activities in the pipeline which aim to raise awareness and encourage people to change their behaviour.
Canterbury City Council’s Head of Safer Communities, Douglas Rattray, said: “We are doing all we can to catch the culprits that seem determined to spoil the area. Every report is taken seriously. They help us to build up a picture of the offences committed and allow us to target our resources.”
You can help ‘Love Where We Live’ by reporting littering, graffiti and flytipping to us online.