Hundreds of fines for littering have been handed out by a private enforcement firm which has been begun patrolling Peterborough city centre.
Kingdom Security Ltd has issued 452 fines since it started operating on Monday last week, of which 318 are for littering.
The firm’s officers have also issued 131 fines for unauthorised cycling, two for spitting and one for urination.
Kingdom is patrolling the city centre on a 12-month trial after being brought in by Peterborough City Council. Revenue from issuing £80 fixed penalty notices will be shared by both parties.
Cllr Mohammed Jamil, Labour member for Central ward, which includes the city centre, said: “I’m shocked by the amount of fines for littering, but no one has really enforced it before. People have got in a bad habit.
“If the fines are given for the right reasons I have no problem with them. They need to draw a fine balance between what is required and have some degree of common sense and not get carried away.”
Kingdom is enforcing the council’s Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which prohibits unauthorised cycling in Bridge Street, as well as littering, spitting, public urination and defecation.
Cllr Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities and environment capital, said the number of fines handed out is “not overly surprising.”
She added: “Going from here I’m hoping for a decline in the number of fixed penalty notices as people become more and more aware that this is going to be enforced.”
Kingdom will soon also be enforcing a PSPO which covers Millfield, New England, Gladstone, Eastfield, Lower Bridge Street and the Embankment.
The PSPO will prohibit littering, spitting and failing to dispose of alcohol or disperse from an area if requested to do so by an authorised officer.
Kingdom officers can also hand out on the spot fines for offences such as dog fouling, fly-tipping and graffiti.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Prevention and Enforcement Service said it had received “very positive feedback from residents since Kingdom’s arrival.” She added: “These figures clearly show a need for enforcement in the city centre and Kingdom officers are providing the much needed resource to do this.”