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Plea for police to crack down on litter louts in Worcester
POLICE could take on powers to dish out on-the-spot fines for litter louts in Worcester - after frustrated politicians made a plea for help.
Worcester City Council wants police community support officers (PCSOs) to finally join the battle in punishing those who willingly drop rubbish.
At the moment PSCOs have been told to focus on more serious crimes as back-up to police officers, and let city council wardens hand out the £80 penalties alone.
Your Worcester News can reveal police bosses are now considering a fresh crackdown on "low level" problems like graffiti, littering and large numbers of A-boards by giving PSCOs extra powers.
It follows a plea from Councillor Roger Knight, the city's former environmental chief, that council staff need help.
"There's been a real frustration that a link in the chain is broken, so my plea to you is to change it," he said.
"We spend more than £1 million a year cleaning up in this city and I've been asking time and time again for PCSOs to get powers to hand out these fines.
"I know the PCSOs are frustrated too - in St Andrew's Gardens in Worcester, where it's an ongoing problem PSCOs want to act but can't do it.
"They see people litter and can't do anything about it."
Speaking during a scrutiny committee meeting last night, he said litter louts "laugh" at PSCOs because they know they won't fine them.
Superintendent for south Worcestershire Mark Travis said it was being looked at.
"In recent weeks we've met with the city council to consider working in partnership to tackle the very issues you're talking about," he said.
"We're talking about the problems that sit below criminality but do cause concern like graffiti, A-boards, broken windows, littering.
"Over the next four to six weeks a feasibility paper will come out to try and resolve it.
"We're literally right at the stage of considering what we do, that piece of work is underway at the moment."
He told politicians the force had been examining a similar project at a council in London, where PCSOs were handed extra responsibilities and it had worked.
"We need to find a long term solution," he added.
Just 14 people have been handed on-the-spot £80 fines by the council for littering since January, plus one for dog mess.
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