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Five caught spitting in public in Wisbech during October and each handed £75 fixed penalty notice says report to Fenland Council

PUBLISHED: 16:42 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:25 13 December 2018

Enforcement officials from Kingdom checking out a suspected offender for littering in Wisbech. Part of a crackdown by Fenland Council they say is cost neutral. Picture: KINGDOM

Enforcement officials from Kingdom checking out a suspected offender for littering in Wisbech. Part of a crackdown by Fenland Council they say is cost neutral. Picture: KINGDOM

Archant

Five people caught spitting in Wisbech in just one month were each handed a £75 fixed penalty notice by the enforcement team hired by Fenland District Council to crackdown on anti social behaviour.

The enforcement figures for October form part of a report by cabinet members David Oliver and Peter Murphy.

Cllr Oliver and Cllr Murphy say that Wisbech is the worst offending part of Fenland where, in the same month, 35 others were given fixed penalty notices for dropping litter and 17 were given penalty notices for contravening the alcohol public spaces protection order.

By comparison – and in the same month – only one person in March was given a ticket for littering although nine tickets for littering were handed out in Whittlesey.

Their report shows that officials from the council’s Streetscene team and from Kingdom, the private contractors shared with Peterborough City Council, spent 241 hours in Wisbech during October, Whittlesey took up 82 hours, March was given 96 hours and 71 hours were spent in Chatteris, the only town to have a penalty free month.

“Kingdom Services have kept patrols in all key areas even with reduced numbers although at times the number of patrol hours is reduced,” says the report.

“The overall payment rate is 67 per cent making the service cost neutral to the council.”

Between April and October there were 253 fixed penalty notices issued for littering and spitting offences of which 40 were referred for prosecution, 13 withdrawn and cancelled and 163 paid.

In October 12 littering cases were heard at Peterborough magistrates’ court when 11 were found guilty and each fined a total of £410. In one instance a case has been adjourned for trial in January following a not guilty plea.

Two further people paid a total fine of £150 prior to their court date and the matter was withdrawn.

The report says Fenland has been part of a new magistrates’ court trial called ‘single justice procedure’ whereby cases are considered through a paper process.

The report says: “This is part of the court and tribunal transformation plan. The trial in October went well with learning points put in place. A full launch is planned for 2019.”

The cabinet members’ report says that in October there were 184 instances of fly tipping and as part of investigatory work two people have been interviewed and as a result one issued with a fixed penalty notice of £400.

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