Research from the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group has uncovered that almost a third of fixed penalty fines, issued for littering and dog fouling, are distributed on private land.
As of 2019, Medway Council entered into a contract with District Enforcement LTC, who issue fines for low-level environmental crimes on behalf of the council and provide evidence for further action in court if deemed necessary. Whilst the contract is not at any cost to the council, the fixed penalty notices are split 30/70% on the paid fixed penalty fine, meaning that Medway Council receive 30% of the income of all fines paid.
However, investigation from the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group has uncovered that in the period of June to September this year, 21-33% of all fines were issued on private land.
In August this year, 418 fixed penalty notices were issued in Rainham North, more than the total number of fines issued in all other areas of Medway put together. It has since transpired that 400 of these notices were issued on private land, at Medway Services.
The Medway Labour and Co-operative Group have called for this to be discussed at the next available Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny meeting.
Medway Labour and Co-operative Spokesperson for Regeneration and Communities, Councillor Andy Stamp said that, ‘The efficiency of fixed penalty notices for low level environmental crimes in Medway is certainly brought into question with these figures.
‘The contract was designed to maintain the cleanliness of our public spaces – and yet with such a large chunk of fines being issued on privately owned land, the delivery of this is dubious.’
Councillor Vince Maple, Leader of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group added, ‘At a time whereby Council resources are limited, I question why District Enforcement LTD are typically administering a third of fines on private land. Public resources should be invested in making our town centres and public space better, not maintaining private companies land such as the Medway Moto Services.’