The County Council has vowed to take ‘positive action’ to help keep our county a clean and beautiful place to live, work and visit, ahead of a new firm being awarded a contract to carry out environmental crime enforcement across Pembrokeshire.

WISE (Waste Investigations Support & Enforcement) has been awarded the contract - said to be experienced contractors who carry out enforcement for several Local Authorities across the UK.

Patrols will begin in Pembrokeshire this week.

WISE enforcement officers can issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for offences including:

• Littering

• Fly-tipping

• Dog fouling

• Graffiti and fly-posting

• Breaches of byelaws relating to dogs on beaches

The level of FPN varies between offences but an offence of littering will see a £150 FPN issued, reduced to £75 if paid within 10 calendar days.

A £150 FPN (£75 if paid within 10 days) will be issued where a dog walker is witnessed not to have cleaned up after their pet.

Dog fouling sign
(Observer pic)

As an authority there will not be any targets for issuing FPNs and enforcement teams will not have any bonuses or commission set on the number of FPNs issued, with PCC stating that the aim is to drive ‘behaviour change and compliance’.

Councillor Rhys Sinnett, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Residents’ Services, said the enforcement will tackle a major issue that impacts on people’s lives and respond to the concerns of County Councillors and communities on the level of environmental crime.

Cllr Sinnett said: “Between 2021 and 2022 the Council received reports of 2662 environmental crimes and we know those reported are just the tip of the iceberg.

“Like all Members of Council my inbox is full of messages from concerned members of the public about issues such as dog fouling, fly-tipping and littering.

“We know that the vast majority of our residents and visitors behave responsibly and put their litter in bins and pick up after their pets and we thank them for that.

“Unfortunately there is a small minority that continue to flout the law. No matter how many signs, no matter how many bins, no matter how many education campaigns.

“There’s simply no excuse for continuing to drop litter, refusing to pick up after your dog, fly-tipping and the like.

“We hope that by taking enforcement action and issuing Fixed Penalty Notices we will have a positive impact on the environment and make those who would continue to flout the rules to think twice.”

Officers from WISE with Cllr Rhys Sinnett and Marc Owen, Street Care Manager
Officers from WISE with Cllr Rhys Sinnett and Marc Owen, PCC's Street Care Manager (Pic supplied)

The Pembrokeshire public is also asked to help join the fight against environmental crime by emailing [email protected] highlighting areas of concern which can be considered for patrols.

John Dunne, Managing Director of WISE, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council.

“WISE deliver a wide range of environmental investigations and enforcement services on a national basis and have consequently contributed to a reduction in street litter and the associated cost of cleaning it up as a result of our efforts.

“Our aim is to reduce environmental crime for the long term and patrol the county in an ‘intelligence led’ manner using geo-fencing technology and focusing our controls on identified hotspots received from the complaints and feedback of the general public.

“We will operate a robust but always proportionate methodology to tackle environmental crime, using a wide range of technical support including body worn cameras and a handheld computer which will confirm the identity of an alleged offender before issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice.

“Our officers have been instructed to communicate openly with the community with the overall aim of inclusivity for the Pembrokeshire community to play their part in the task ahead.”