A NEW anti-litter team handed out 1,403 fines in its first seven weeks - an increase of 11,480 per cent.
Extra wardens began patrolling the borough in April to catch offenders dropping rubbish or failing to clean up dog mess.
Fixed penalties of £80 - mostly for litter - have been issued at an average of 200 a week since.
If this rate was sustained, the enforcement team would more than double its 5,000 fine target for the first year.
The new approach followed criticism of Rotherham Borough Council’s soft approach to litter in recent years. There were a total of 360 penalties given out for the previous four years.
Cllr Emma Hoddinott, the council’s cabinet member for waste, roads and community safety, said: “Seven weeks in, we are impressed by how it’s gone.
“There just isn’t any excuse for people dropping litter. The majority of fines are being paid, which means it doesn’t have to go to court. I hope it will change people’s behaviour.
“We’ve made it clear to the team that they shouldn’t be following people or being sneaky. This is about changing behaviour rather than trying to catch people out.”
The team is a link-up with Doncaster Council in using private firm Kingdom Security. They have visited most towns and villages across the borough but 63 per cent of offences so far were in Rotherham town centre.
The aim is to cut Rotherham’s annual £1.7 million cost of environmental crime and the team’s remit will be widened from next month.
Cllr Hoddinott said: “We started with litter and dog fouling and now we are going to roll this out to include parking and fly-tipping offences.
“The success for us will be when we get fewer fines because the new approach is working. The less litter is dropped, the less we need to pay to pick it up.”
The new team is a link-up with Doncaster Council, which employs private firm Kingdom Security and issues 5,000 fixed penalties a year.
The enviro-crime crackdown is part of Rotherham Love Where You Live, a campaign to encourage residents to have more pride in their town.