PROBLEMS in retaining staff to issue fines for littering has meant the company running the scheme has been bringing workers in from “hundreds of miles away.”

Business change officer Sarah Oliver told members of the services overview and scrutiny committee that District Enforcement bore the extra costs of a “mobile team.”

“Enforcement is quite a challenging job role to take place and to issue fixed penalty notices in the place you live is difficult,” she said.

Mrs Oliver added that the officers came from “many hundreds of miles away.”

Tim Evans reported the findings of a working group set up to discuss the actions of District Enforcement, complaints and improvements.

It viewed bodycam footage and found that there had been no “inappropriate behaviour” by officers.

The report states: “Having viewed footage members were satisfied that the actions of District Enforcement Officers when issuing fixed penalty notices (FPN) had been proportionate and that reports of inappropriate behaviour on the part of District Enforcement Officers that had been read on social media were inaccurate.”

The report adds that the number of complaints was just two per cent of the total number of FPNs, which was 2,108 to March 21, 2019.

It also added that the had been behaviour change observed in some of the larger Pembrokeshire towns with litter reducing.

Committee chairman Cllr Rob Summons raised questions about another councillor’s assertion that he had seen footage of fines being issued when he later said he hadn’t.

Cllr Paul Dowson had been out with enforcement officers, Cllr Tony Wilcox said, but had not seen footage.

Cllr Pat Davies said Cllr Dowson’s statements had been “quite alarming” and may have caused members of the public concern about who had access to this footage.

“It could give concern to members of the public what is happening to that footage after they have been penalised or stopped,” she added.

The footage cannot be viewed until it is downloaded at the company’s office, Cllr Brian Hall clarified.

The working group has suggested that money received from FPNs be used to employ a dedicated member of staff to deal with District Enforcement related matters and that more rural areas are targeted.

The contract with District Enforcement is recommended for renewal and a request for support from PCSOs to provide evidence of offences will be made to the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Dowson has yet to comment.

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