New team tackles dog poo, fried chicken boxes and used condoms on Camden’s streets

Cllr Phil Jones with the enforcement team in Camden Town.

Cllr Phil Jones with the enforcement team in Camden Town. - Credit: Archant

Camden’s streets are strewn with cigarette butts, fried chicken boxes and used condoms.

These are the most frequently littered items discovered by the council’s street cleaning team, as well as dog poo and chewing gum.

In November, the council launched its Clean Camden campaign aimed at penalising litterers and educating residents about the scourge of rubbish on the streets.

In the first two months of the campaign, the new education and enforcement team issued 400 fixed penalty notice fines of £80 for littering.

This compares with an annual average of 300 fines.

The team has patrolled litter hotspots and commonly found that people are happy to bin cardboard coffee cups and other litter, but think nothing of dropping cigarette butts on the pavement at the same time.

Unsurprisingly, none of the 400 fines issued in November and December involved the dropping of used condoms, which have been found in high numbers in alleyways and back streets.

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Cllr Phil Jones, cabinet member for sustainability, transport and planning, said: “Cigarette butts, empty chicken take-away boxes and condoms might seem like a good night out for some, but it isn’t what most residents want to see on the streets on the way to work.

“Our campaign has now been running for two months and we’ve caught and fined hundreds of litterers.

“It’s only a small minority of residents and visitors who make our streets filthy but we will keep pressing the message that their behaviour is unacceptable to the rest of us.”

Maya de Souza, Green Party councillor for Highgate, said: “We’re pleased this is being done but crackdowns like this risk looking draconian and money-grabbing if they aren’t accompanied by information and communications to discourage people from doing it.

“So we would also like to see a positive message going out, for example through schools, about keeping the street environment tidy and clean.”

Food critic and columnist Giles Coren, 44, who lives in Kentish Town, has previously called for a ban on dogs in London due to the problem of dog mess on the streets.

He said: “I’m not happy that there’s only been four fixed penalty notices issued in Kentish Town and I’m not happy that I’ve never seen them [the enforcement team].

“The council has issued these figures because they want us to think they’re doing something.”