Enforcement and Wardens

Contents

Introduction

Bassetlaw District Council has extended its commitment to making our district a cleaner place to live, visit and work thanks to a new environment enforcement partnership with Waste Investigations Support & Enforcement Limited (WISE) (external link).

As of 1 February 2022, the Council will be working with WISE to target people who deliberately drop litter, including cigarette butts, and fail to clean up after their dogs as part of a five-year partnership. In time they will also support the council to enforce other offences relating to fly-tipping and Public Spaces Protection Orders.

In summer 2021, the council asked the public if they would like to continue to see Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £100 issued to people for littering and dog fouling offences. More than 85 percent of respondents were in favour of this approach.

Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement Limited (WISE) have therefore been given powers by Bassetlaw District Council to issue FPNs of £100 for littering and dog fouling. Should the FPN not be paid, the offender could face prosecution and a potential fine of up to £2,500.

Environmental Crime Officers receive intensive training and ongoing professional development to maintain high standards. They will also wear Body Cameras to capture interaction between Officers and members of the public.

Members of the public who have been issued with an FPN up to 1 February 2022 should deal directly with District Enforcement. Any Fixed Penalty Notices issued after this date will be administered by WISE.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Authorised officers from WISE (external link) will be issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to anyone they observe, or have evidence to support, has committed an environmental crime such as dropping litter or failing to clean up after their dog. A FPN provides the opportunity to discharge any liability from being prosecuted through payment of the FPN. Choosing not to pay the FPN will result in the initiation of court proceedings with a maximum fine of £2,500 and potential conviction at a Magistrates Court.

A Fixed Penalty Notice could be issued if you:

  • Drop litter – this includes chewing gum, fast food, fast food packaging, left over fruit (for example, apple cores and banana skins), drinks containers and sweet wrappers
  • Drop cigarette ends – Cigarette waste is classified in the same way as any other form of litter and should be disposed of in a bin. Smokers have a responsibility to ensure their cigarette is completely extinguished before placing in a litter bin - this prevents any risk of fire within the litter bin. If you do not dispose of cigarette waste properly (e.g. in a litter bin), you can be issued with a FPN. If you do not have access to a litter bin, why not carry a portable disposable ashtray with you or create one by placing some soil or sand in a small tin? This will ensure you always have somewhere to dispose of cigarette ends responsibly
  • Fail to comply with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control – failing to pick up after the dog you are walking not disposing of dog faeces in the correct way or not having the means available to pick up after your dog.  It is not a valid excuse to say that you didn’t see the dog fouling or that you forgot to bring a bag with you.

Paying a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

A period of 14 days is given to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

If you have received an FPN up to and including the 31 January 2022, please ensure you pay District Enforcement.

From 1 February 2022



If your financial circumstances mean you are unable to pay within the 14 day period, please email the WISE team immediately to discuss your circumstances. This will be reviewed and a payment extension may be granted. All correspondence details can be found on the Fixed Penalty Notice issued and on any other correspondence sent by WISE. Payments will not be accepted by instalment. However, you may be granted a payment extension.

If you choose not to pay the fixed penalty you will be prosecuted for the offence.

You can make a representation to WISE in cases where an individual has an issue with the conduct with the Enforcement Officer, or would like to express their reasons as to why a Fixed Penalty Notice should not have been issued.

Appealing a Fixed Penalty Notice

There are no formal grounds of appeal against an FPN as it is an invitation to expel any liability to be summoned to court for prosecution. While this is not an admission of guilt, by agreeing that an offence has been committed and by paying the FPN, no further action will be undertaken by the council. Dealing with it in this manner saves time for everyone (including the offender) in prosecuting cases at court, and associated costs of any fine imposed by the court.

If you choose to pick up the litter or dog faeces after an enforcement officer has approached you, an FPN will still be issued as the offence has already been committed. The littering or dog fouling offence relates to the dropping of litter or failure to clean up after the dog and then walking away from this once it has occurred. Whether or not you volunteer to pick up your litter or clean up after the dog afterwards, the offence has been committed and a fixed penalty notice will be issued.

If you do not agree that you committed the offence for which you received the FPN, the matter will be dealt with through formal prosecution through the Magistrate court. It will then be up to the court, on receiving evidence, to determine whether or not an offence was committed and therefore whether or not any penalty should be imposed. This means that allowing the offence to progress to formal court action, this becomes the mechanism for those wishing to appeal an FPN.

WISE Officers

The company, WISE (external link) provides experienced and professional enforcement officers who work under the direction and on behalf of Bassetlaw District Council. Their officers will patrol any area of land that is open to public access including town centres, villages, parks and other environmental hotspots.

The Environmental Crime Officers are specialists in their field, and Bassetlaw District Council has given clear and defined delegated powers, with officers following current legislative guidelines and the local authority’s enforcement policy.

All officers operating within Bassetlaw have been screened and vetted by DBS in compliance with British Standard 7858:2012. Officers have received intensive introductory training and will continue to receive ongoing professional development to ensure high standards required by the council are met. Officers will be equipped with body worn cameras which ensures footage of every interaction between officers and members of the public are recorded. District Officers are not remunerated against the number of Fixed Penalty Notices they issue. They are paid an hourly rate and do not receive any bonuses.

Any complaints against the officers should be made to the  WISE team and will be handled in line with established procedures. Please be aware that making a complaint will be dealt with separately to the issued FPN and, as an offence is alleged, you remain liable to prosecution unless you choose to pay the FPN within the timescale specified.


Last Updated on Tuesday, April 5, 2022