£400,000 paid in fines due to littering, spitting and cycling

Litter dropped in the street EMN-170524-162412009
Litter dropped in the street EMN-170524-162412009
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Fines worth more than £400,000 have been paid by people caught littering, spitting and cycling on Bridge Street.

In total 5,715 fines worth £419,505 were collected in just over a year after enforcement firm Kingdom began fining people for seven different offences of anti-social behaviour in two areas of the city.

Kingdom officers have been patrolling the city centre and an area covering Millfield, New England, Gladstone, Eastfield, Lower Bridge Street and the Embankment after signing a contract with the city council which sees the private firm keep all of the money which is collected.

However, the council is now looking to change that by setting up its own company to do the enforcement while widening it into more areas of the city. Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued would then be reinvested in services.

Both areas currently patrolled by Kingdom are covered by Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).

Council leader Cllr John Holdich, who pushed for the PSPOs to be introduced, said: “It’s working, it’s tidying the city up. Now we want to spread it across Peterborough.

“The object of the exercise was never to make money, it was to break even. Now we know that it works and how it works, we can set up our own company to do it, but the money collected will be ploughed into services.”

Asked if he had heard of any problems with how the enforcement had been carried out, the council leader said he was not aware of any appeals against fines being upheld.

He added: “They’ve got cameras on them and it’s all recorded.

“The ones who are going to court do pay, so we must be right. We are doing what the people want and it’s been a great success.”

In July the PT revealed that 8,824 FPNs had been issued in the city in just over 12 months, which would have seen more than £750,000 handed out in fines if each FPN was £80.

Today’s figures, which were revealed by a Freedom of Information request after the council failed to disclose them, show that out of the 8,824 FPNs which were issued, 5,715 FPNs were paid up with £419,505 collected. The figures do not include money collected from court hearings.

Asked about the difference in today’s and last month’s figures, a council spokesman said the FPN fine amount had been £60 until last November, but that also “a number of FPNs have been written off/cancelled due to a lack of evidence/some are still to be paid.”

FACTFILE

The number of Fixed Penalty Notices paid from June 12, 2017 (when the Kingdom contract began) to June 30, 2018:

Littering: FPNs paid - 3,888. Money collected - £284, 485

Defecation: 1, £80

Cycle Dismount: 19, £1, 420

Failure to Disperse: 3, £240

Dog Fouling: 2, £120

Spitting: 675, £52,000

Unauthorised Cycling: 1,119, £80,540

Urination: 8, £620

Totals:

FPNs paid - 5,715. Money collected - £419,505.