Northumberland County Council is clamping down on litter louts, fly tippers and irresponsible dog owners.
The authority is targeting the small minority whose behaviour spoils towns, villages and the county’s natural beauty – as well as costing the taxpayer over £2m each year in clean-up bills.
As part of an ongoing campaign, anti-littering operations and routine patrols will continue to be undertaken across the county.
Councillor Dave Ledger, deputy leader, said: “This county is famous for its unspoilt beaches, beautiful countryside and pretty towns and villages.
“We’re determined to keep it that way and we won’t tolerate the small, irresponsible minority who drop litter or allow their dogs to foul streets, parks or beaches. It takes a few seconds to put rubbish in a bin or clean up after your dog – there really is no excuse.”
He added: “Cleaning up after those that drop litter costs us millions of pounds a year and we are making the irresponsible few who drop litter pay for it.
“Those who don’t pay their fines could ultimately find themselves in court facing a bill of £2,500.”
The council has already fined scores of litter louts, while two fly tippers in the north of the county were given hefty fines and narrowly escaped prison after being caught illegally dumping building waste.
Enforcement to tackle dog fouling also continues with targeted enforcement patrols across Northumberland which has resulted in 69 £75 fines issued so far this year.
As well as enforcement, the council is also looking to educate and is relaunching its ‘Don’t Stand for It’ campaign on dog fouling this summer. Animal welfare officers are carrying out a number of educational visits to schools. The visits are aimed at encouraging responsible dog ownership and getting the message across to the children, who will then pass it on their parents and other relatives.
The council already works in partnership with national charity, Keep Britain Tidy to look at new ways of tackling the problem and challenging the behaviour of people who litter in the county.
The partnership has seen the council team up with national campaigns through its LOVE Northumberland initiative to tackle the problem of littering by highlighting the problems and educating people about the price of cleaning up our streets.
The council also has over 50 environmental champions, community volunteers who pick up litter, report fly tipping and alert the authority to litter hot spots in their neighbourhoods.