Manchester – A special litter busting team have handed out over 1,000 fixed penalty notices in just over three months.
The dedicated team work seven days a week looking out for selfish people who ignore bins and drop their litter on the ground.
Officers have the power to hand out on-the-spot fines to litter bugs- and anyone refusing to pay the £80 bill faces being taken to court.
The dedicated team of litter busters, who started working in the city centre in November 2014, are on the look out for people dropping cigarette butts, coffee cups, burger wrappers and other items.
The officers are part of a workforce already employed by NSL, the City Council’s parking contractors, and so the move has not created any additional cost to the City Council.
While most of the notices have been issued on Market Street, High Street and Piccadilly Gardens, the team are operating across the whole of the city centre.
Council officers from the Neighbourhood team will also continue to hand out fixed penalty notices, while around 25 PCSOs have also received additional training to look out for litter bugs.
The council has installed nearly 700 new litter bins, including 20 recycling bins, in the city centre as part of a major campaign urging residents and visitors to take responsibility and not drop litter.
Advertising slogans have been placed on paving slabs – thought to be a first for a British city – while grants have been provided to community groups who want to organise their own clean-up operations.
Cllr Bernard Priest, deputy leader of the council, said: “While litter bugs are in the minority, unfortunately there are still some selfish individuals whose behaviour is a blight on the city centre.The on-the-spot fines handed out make these litter louts take notice and realise that they will not be tolerated.
“The vast majority of local residents and visitors to Manchester don’t want to see our city being used as a rubbish dump. Working together with local residents, visitors and businesses- we can achieve a cleaner better city.”