PEOPLE who little or allow their dog to foul the streets are being targeted through a new 'zero tolerance' initiative.

Darlington Borough Council has appointed Kingdom Services Group to provide a team of enforcement officers, who will issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £75 to anyone caught dropping litter, including cigarette butts, or not picking up after their dog.

The initiative, on a six month trial, is part of the council’s ongoing efforts to clean up the borough and help maintain a clean and vibrant town centre for both residents and visitors.

Councillor Nick Wallis, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said: “The new patrols have been introduced on a trial basis in a bid to tackle the ongoing problems of litter in Darlington and to deter the thoughtless minority who throw their rubbish onto our streets, which costs around £1.18m a year to clean up.

“Our Street Scene staff are at work every day cleaning our streets, picking up litter thrown on the ground and dealing with fly tipping incidents. We also have a fantastic army of Street Champions and other volunteers who regularly carry out litter picks across the borough – but it’s still not enough.

“We need people to look after and take pride in #OurStreets and to do their bit by either putting their rubbish in a bin or taking it home and those walking dogs must also clean up after their pets. Smokers too must realise it’s not acceptable to just throw their cigarettes butts onto the ground – use an ashtray or bin.

“The patrols start this week and initially the teams will be giving a friendly warning to anyone caught littering. However, come October 1, they will issue fines – so if you don’t bin your rubbish or pick up after your dog, there is a very good chance you will be caught and then you will be fined."

The main focus of the new patrols will be within densely populated areas such as the town centre, with work in other areas of the borough less frequent and more targeted.

The contract will be self-financing, with income generated through the issue of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs).

To share your views on the new patrols log onto the website at or to organise a litter pick visit