A TEAM tasked with issuing 5,000 fines a year began work this week as part of a crackdown on environmental crime.
Extra wardens began patrolling the streets to catch offenders flouting litter, dog fouling and other laws.
Rotherham Borough Council said the more robust approach was in response to public demand and aimed to cut the annual £1.7 million envirocrime bill.
Karen Hanson, assistant director for street scene, said: “We want to make the borough a nicer place for people who work, live in and visit Rotherham.
“By putting extra officers on the beat, we can specifically target dog owners who refuse to clean up after their dogs or use a bin for their litter.
“This approach demonstrates the council’s commitment to protect the health and environment of residents and visitors.
“Whilst the council has had the ability to fine people in the past, our extra officers mean that there is a greater chance of culprits being caught and fined.”
There has been criticism of the soft approach of recent years. Just three people were fined for littering in the town centre in 2015.
The council denied concerns from some traders that this had been kept low on purpose for fear of putting people off visiting in case they were fined.
The new team is a link-up with Doncaster Council, which issues 5,000 fixed penalties a year.
Officials will patrol hotspots across the borough and RMBC will seek to prosecute when fines are not paid.
Mrs Hanson said: “We know it can be frustrating when environmental crime keeps reoccurring, but we will be doing our best to catch the people who keep spoiling the streets of Rotherham.
“By working together, we can make Rotherham proud and tidy.”
Cllr Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet member for waste, roads and community safety, said: “These extra wardens will help catch those that leave a mess in our public spaces.”
It is hoped the new team, which will also handle parking enforcement, will be funded from the fines issued.