LITTER louts are being warned they face tougher penalties as council officials make moves to tackle the problem.
In the last month, eight people have been taken to court by North Tyneside Council for littering and dog fouling, leading to offenders being hit in the pocket with a total bill of more than £3,000.
Now, as part of the council’s Big Spring Clean environmental campaign, residents are being urged to act responsibly or face a fine.
Coun Pam McIntyre, cabinet member for engagement and the environment, said: “North Tyneside looks its best when residents work with us to keep it clean and tidy.
“We would rather not issue fixed penalty notices. That’s why, for example, we educate children about environmental issues at a young age.
“However, people need to be aware that we will take action if they act irresponsibly by failing to dispose of litter or not cleaning up their dog’s mess.”
Council wardens patrol with police officers, issuing £50 fixed penalty notices to anyone caught breaking the law.
Elsewhere, more than 110 rubbish bags were filled as part of the campaign as council staff, residents and local authority partners took part in Operation Hotspot in the Rosehill area of Wallsend last week.
As well as removing rubbish, the council carried out joint patrols in the area with the police and issued three people with £50 fixed penalty notices – two were for dropping litter and one was for not clearing up their dog’s mess.
Meanwhile, there were around 70 home fire safety checks by the fire service.
Wayne Young, area officer for the council, said: “The Big Spring Clean is all about working in partnership to make the borough clean and tidy.
“This initiative in Wallsend showed what a difference can be made when organisations come together for a common cause.”