Thanet council is investigating Kingdom litter officers after the authority was sent photos of the staff apparently dropping cigarette butts on the floor in Margate.
Enforcement officers were photographed on several occasions taking a break in the alley by the Mill Lane car park. A complaint was then made about piles of cigarette butts in the area.
The pictures were sent to Thanet council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Open Spaces Rev Stuart Piper who has asked the authority to investigate.
He said: “I was sent the pictures of enforcement officers congregating in the alleyway and then of the area full of cigarette butts.
“The pictures were sent to me by a concerned member of the public, especially in light of the council’s prosecution of 19 people for littering offences. I sent them forward for action to be taken.”
A Thanet council spokesman confirmed that the incident is to be investigated.
They said: “The council has a zero tolerance policy to dropping litter in public and is extremely disappointed to have learned about this incident.
“Working with enforcement agency, Kingdom – who operate the litter enforcement contract on behalf of the council – an investigation will start immediately, and all options will be considered including discipline, a fixed penalty notice being issued and removal of the staff from the contract.’
“We would like to provide reassurances that this matter is being taken very seriously and a thorough investigation into the incident will take place.”
The enforcement should never of been put out to tender, it should be run directly through the council, with officers being council employees and money raised going in to keeping our streets clean not in to the pockets of Kingdom owners.
Exactly what I was about to say ! The Council must take back the contract and use their own officers then there is an income direct to the Isle rather than a private company. There would also be an in-house disciplinary procedure for incidents such as this. This is not the first time these private enforcement officers as such have been recorded littering. There was an incident filmed in Harold Road car park a year ago. Time to take back the contract as this is just farcical.
Although the theory of your comments sound good in practise they do not work, kingdom doing the enforcement is 0 risk to the Council and is basically free money for the Council, if they go in House there are a lot of overheads including staff wages which will mean the staff will have to issue lots of tickets which they will not due to laziness mainly and thinking they don’t have to as they work for a Council. Also people will always try to discredit the officers like this, kingdom or Council, there was a lot in the papers a couple of months ago about Canterbury enforcement but they are all in House staff kingdom left a long time ago and ps council are loading lots of money on enforcement now!
Although I see some of your points Anonymous Joe Kingdom does not work either. Officers are forced to issue at least 4 tickets per day or get sacked, this makes for a very tense work environment and one where kingdom staff are almost harassing people. IU have seen Kingdom staff follow a person down the street just because in their words “He is smoking so he will litter” This causes tension in our towns and a hatred of enforcement officers. You say it is free money for TDC, yet TDC earns a pittance from what is actually taken, where Kingdom pocket the majority of it. If TDC employed 2 enforcement officers to cover Thanet the earnings from tickets would easily cover any out goings with the rest of the money going in to improving our street cleanliness, we are losing rubbish bins on our streets because TDC cannot pay to empty them, while Kingdom gets rich when people drop litter because these bins have been taken away. The enforcement should be kept in house through TDC and to be honest I have looked at all the pros and cons and no one could ever change my mind on this, as a local business owner it just make sense not only from the point of view that you should not force your staff to issue tickets just to keep a job, but is also makes huge financial sense
Another example of privatised public services proving not fit for purpose. Kingdom operate for profit, they have a vested interest in littering continuing to be a problem. I will bring this to the attention of my local counciller, to express my views. I hope many more Council Tax payers will also hold our Council to account, they are responsible for this state of affairs, insofar as they awarded the contract to Kingdom. I wonder if Kingdom have a bonu system in place, like the parking enforcement contractors in Maidstone. I’m also curious to know if any council officials or elected members stood to gain from this as well.
kingdom employees MUST issue 4 tickets per day to keep their jobs (I was informed this by an ex employee) This should never be happening they should be directly employed by TDC and on a set wage so the urgency to issue tickets is removed. It is not till this happens will we see any humanity in the enforcement officers.
Serious , but comical , Could only happen on the Planet Fannet !