Monday, 11 December 2017

Kingdom litter fines amount to a carrier bag of cigarette butts per month

Wrexham's Homes and Environment scrutiny committee will look at the performance of Kingdom Security this week. The controversial private firm make millions in profit every year from councils across the UK through environmental enforcement, handing out fines for littering and dog fouling. They are now 6 months into a 2 year contract in Wrexham (following a 12 month pilot), with local councillors set to scrutinise their performance on Wednesday.

Councillor Carrie Harper, a member of the committee said: "Most people recognise the need for enforcement when it comes to litter and dog fouling and we all want to see cleaner streets but many people I speak to object to the methods employed by Kingdom. This company has faced reports of harassment, as well as complaints its enforcement officers have been intimidating and acted aggressively. Add to that the complaints about the firm targeting vulnerable people and handing out fines for trivial incidents such as feeding ducks or dropping orange peel and you have to question whether we want this firm operating in our town." 

"Dishing out fines like smarties may well make this firm millions in profits every year but does it actually make our streets cleaner? I’d argue it doesn’t, we can see from the monthly figures in the report (see below)  that the vast majority of fines were dished out for dropped cigarette butts for instance. When you look at the detail, which shows several hundred fines a month for cigarette ends, that amounts to a carrier bag a month at the most across the whole county borough, it’s no wonder local people say they’re not seeing a difference. "

"Kingdom are looking for easy pickings rather than genuinely tackling the issues people are worried about. To add insult to injury,  Wrexham Council gets a very small fraction of the money generated from this operation, prompting questions as to why the council hasn’t tackled this issue itself and created local jobs and an income that could be re invested into our struggling local services.”

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