A NEW team of enforcement officers will patrol Salisbury’s “known litter hotspots” in a bid to tackle rubbish problems in the city if plans are given the go-ahead.

The city council has begun discussions to introduce ‘rangers’ who will be given powers to issue fixed penalty notices to anyone who drops litter.

The scheme is being considered by the authority as a way of “improving the upkeep of public spaces across Salisbury” after Wiltshire Council has been unable to patrol the streets.

City council leader Matthew Dean said: “The city council is doing a whole range of things to clean up our city and the council is working with businesses and residents but unfortunately there some businesses and residents that still persist in littering and we are determined to stop them.”

The council has highlighted that problem streets include those in the city centre, Milford Street, Guildhall Square and Market Place.

As well as tackling litter, the officers will deal with other environmental crimes of fly posting and graffiti and dog fouling.

Fines will range from £50 for fly posting and graffiti, and £75 for failing to pick up dog fouling and dropping littering, with any paid fines being put back into city council services.

According to the council, officers will only hand out fines if it is deemed necessary, with many expected to be given advice, either verbally or by letter, if they are caught.

It is likely that rangers will only be able to give out fines it an offence is witnessed or there is reasonable grounds.

The council says that if it achieves “higher compliance rates” it will reduce the number of costly prosecutions it has to undertake.

It is expected that a six-month pilot programme will begin in May if plans are approved at a meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee on Monday.