FLY-tippers and dog foulers will now face tougher punishments after a revision of St Helens Council’s Fixed Penalty Notice Enforcement Strategy.

Current government guidelines allow local authorities to take someone caught fly-tipping larger piles of rubbish or hazardous materials, like asbestos, straight to court under what is known in legal terms as an “aggravated offence”, rather than being given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

But in a move to reduce environmental crimes, the council has expanded on what can be considered an aggravated offence in the strategy, to include things like failing to clean up after a dog when it has fouled at a cemetery or graveyard, on a sports pitch, children’s play area, or at a school or nursery.

Dumping waste that presents high clean-up costs or disruption to a business will also be treated as an aggravated offence.

Previously such offenders might have been given an FPN, meaning they wouldn’t have to face the courts.

Councillor Lynn Clarke, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Fly-tipping and left dog mess shouldn’t happen at all, but we sometimes deal with people that show particular contempt through their actions for the community and the environment we need to protect.

“This is something residents want to see us take a tougher stance on, so I wholeheartedly support the work done by officers to incorporate these new aggravated offences into our enforcement strategy. We will treat these offenders with the severity they deserve, and force them to appear in court to receive any further penalties they impose.”

Residents are encouraged to report incidents of fly-tipping or dog fouling to the council’s Environmental Health team by emailing or by calling 01744 676299 with as much information as possible.