Fines to be brought for those who drop rubbish in North Somerset

North Somerset follows in the footsteps of Bristol and Bath to hire a private firm to fine people who litter. Credit: ITV News West Country

On the spot fines of up to £75 are going to be enforced by so-called 'litter police' in North Somerset.

The council is finalising a deal which would see a private company fine people for dropping rubbish, dog fowling and fly tipping.

It follows several spikes in littering following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Councillors say they have gone ahead with a private firm after a recent survey showed more than 90% of respondents would be keen to see people face sanctions.

There has also been a rise in the amount of face masks abandoned, with waste contractors Glendale saying they have picked up approximately 200 on the beach at Weston-super-Mare in one weekend alone.

Chris Demetriou says he is fed up of the anti-social behaviour including littering outside his restaurant. Credit: ITV News West Country

Seafront restaurant owner Chris Demetriou says he is supportive of the fines but more needs to be done to stop young people littering and disturbing his customers.

The problem is the youngsters who on a daily basis litter in the square and when you say something to them they say there is nothing you can do I am only 15 or 16.

Chris Demetriou, Seaton Restaurant

The fines would not be issued to under 18s but Councillor Bridget Petty agreed more needed to be done to address educating young people not to drop rubbish.

The executive member for Climate Emergency and Environment also confirmed the new service would not cost the taxpayer.

Right now it is a cost to the taxpayer because right now we are paying crews and staff to go and collect the litter left by people.

Cllr Bridget Petty, North Somerset Council

The fine is reduced from £75 to £50 if someone who was caught littering pays it early.

Bristol, Bath and Plymouth have already got enforcement officers patrolling each city centre.

Firms behind those enforcement had previously been criticised for being too 'draconian' but North Somerset council say they will make sure they have learnt from others past mistakes.

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