COLERAINE Borough Council is working with the PSNI in a pilot initiative to tackle town centre litter.
This comes as Coleraine Borough Council and a number of town centre retailers welcome the recent Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) 2011.
It contains a range of legislative measures to improve the quality of the local environment giving district councils additional powers to deal with litter, fly posting and graffiti, dogs, noise, statutory nuisance, nuisance alleyways, abandoned and nuisance vehicles and abandoned shopping trolleys.
Operation Cleantown is designed to help clean up Coleraine’s retail and business centre by targeting persistent litter offenders who ignore the many bins within the sector and who can spoil the shopping experience for visitors and locals alike.
The Environment Service’s Patricia Breen, who is coordinating enforcement, said: “The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (NI) has a wide ranging remit which will provide potential benefits to local communities and members of the public who do not wish to live in neighbourhoods spoiled by poor environmental quality.
“Reducing litter within good quality local environments like Coleraine’s central business and retail district will reduce anti-social behaviour and subsequently attract investment, boost tourism and have positive impacts on health and well being. “Operation Cleantown isn’t really new as we often work alongside our colleagues in PSNI Neighbourhood Policing Team.
“However, this time we are determined to exercise our new powers with increased fines to send a clear message to litter offenders that we want Coleraine to be known as a clean town. Fixed penalty fines have increased from £50 to £80.”
Welcoming Operation Cleantown Diamond Centre Manager, Gwyneth McQuiston, said “In the current economic climate we need to do everything that projects a positive experience to all our visitors in our town centre.
“We need to make sure that we are ticking all the boxes including having clean streets, one way of making sure is to get support from all those people who live and work in the area and can collectively send out the right message, Coleraine is a great and clean place to shop.”