RESIDENTS are being urged to play their part in Stafford Borough Council’s battle against “envirocrime”.
Tidy Towns and Villages aims to cut antisocial activities that spoil the environment, such as dog fouling, littering, grafitting and flytipping, which can contribute to people’s fear of other crimes.
Maintaining a safe and clean environment is one of the council’s duties, taken on by the Streetscene team. But residents and businesses have responsibility too, a report to the council’s cabinet said.
“The relationship between the state of the local environment, antisocial behaviour and fear of crime is now well known, often such ‘low level’ environmental crime being a signal to a wider local crime or anti-social behaviour problem,” it added.
Through Tidy Towns and Villages the council aims to encourage communities to take pride in their neighbourhoods and understand why disposing responsibly of litter, household waste and dog mess is so important.
Increasing the number of people who can carry out enforcement action, such as issuing fines, is also proposed.
The scheme, due to be officially launched later this year, was approved by the cabinet on Thursday.
Councillor Frank Finlay said: “The public have a big part to play borough-wide in keeping it tidy and there is always more that can be done. We can improve through education, but unfortunately enforcement does come in.
“There are a small minority of people who do abuse the environment, particularly in Stafford town centre. What people don’t realise is someone has to pick litter up and someone has to pay for it.”
Council leader Mike Heenan said: “In the town centre there is no excuse - we are well served with litter and recycling bins.
“It’s not just Stafford, it’s Stone, Eccleshall and Gnosall. We need to have pride, and I think we do very, but there is always room for improvement.”