Posted: Wed 4th Dec 2019

Updated: Wed 26th Feb

Anger over private replacement for Kingdom

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Dec 4th, 2019

News that Kingdom Security has been replaced by another private enforcement firm has been greeted with anger by county councillors.
Kingdom quit the county last summer after complaints from the public and councillors over the behaviour of its staff.
This week Denbighshire Council announced that Kingdom had been replaced with a company called District Enforcement which will have the powers  to hand out fines for littering and to people who fail to clean up after their dogs,
Kingdom had also come in for criticism for concentrating its efforts on people who dropped cigarette butts rather than tackling the problem of dog fouling.
But Denbigh councillors, Rhys Thomas and Glenn Swingler, are not happy with the news.
Cllr Thomas said: “I am very disappointed that even though the chief exec of Denbighshire wants the council to operate with more of a commercial strategy there is no interest shown in doing this ourselves and keeping any profits. Instead a private company will be given support, a car, desk, computers in county hall and officer support, I presume, using rate payers money and they will keep all the profit. They will only do the job if they are going to make a profit.”
Cllr Swingler added: “I argued that Denbighshire  needed to bring this service back in house but we have another private company doing this for profit just as the other company were and that ended badly. Lets hope lessons were learnt from previous experience and that past mistakes are not repeated.”
Emlyn Jones, Head of Planning and Public Protection, said: “Residents in Denbighshire tell us time and time again that issues such as littering and dog fouling is an issue of concern. We have listened to residents and we have made that one of our key priorities and we have been running an awareness campaign over recent years.
“We have seen a marked decrease in the number of complaints coming into the authority generally we have received a positive response from residents, but complaints are still coming in.  The vast majority of people in Denbighshire also dispose of their rubbish in the correct manner and clean up after their dogs and we thank them for behaving responsibly.
“It is only a small number of people who think it’s right to litter our communities. Not only is that anti-social, it also makes an area look unsightly and people say it affects the quality of life. That is why we are serious about tackling the issue, but doing so predominantly from an education perspective.
“We recognise that there is a perception about enforcement teams nationwide, but we would like to reiterate the main focus is about having clean and tidy streets.  The company will be providing regular reports on their work and they will be adhering to strict customer care guidelines, as would be expected of any organisation working with the Council.
“Those who comply with the law have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Warren Hodson of District Enforcement, said: “Obviously we’ll be going to engage with the public, educate them as well as educate the on the impact that dog fouling and littering has on our kids. We’re also looking at doing presentations to primary schools, educating them from a young age so when they grow up there’s a culture there of  knowing what to do.
“Our officers are highly trained in customer service and it’s very important to District enforcement how we speak to people and we always calm any situations down.  There’s going to be a lot of focus on dog fouling in this contract we’re looking at doing 16 hours a week on dog fouling in hot spots and public parks”.

By Shane Brennan – Local Democracy Reporter



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