A £500,000 drive to tackle the triple environmental eyesores of dog fouling, alleyway dumping and fly-tipping has been launched by Wirral Council.

The local authority disclosed that clean up costs for "environmental crime" amount to £3.5m a year.

Environment chief Cllr Brian Kenny, said: "Environmental crime is as destructive to a community as anti-social behaviour.

"Everyone has a role to play in keeping our neighbourhoods clean, and ensuring that other people do so as well."

The initiative – over the next two years - will be linked to an extension of the "Love Wirral" grant scheme – a clean-up project backing community pride ventures.

Cllr Kenny said: "Environmental crime is consistently named as a top improvement priority by our residents and these campaigns are aimed at supporting residents to tackle problems in their local area.

"The council will back this up with increased alleyways patrols and a new regular cleansing schedule that will not only help us keep these areas clean, but help boost our recycling rates as well."

Around 30,000 terraced homes will be targeted in the first phase of an alleyway dumping project.

Householders will be informed on better compliance with waste collection services before two problem areas will be involved in a pilot project to encourage residents to take ownership of waste problems in their area.

A specialist team will be deployed to areas where there are problems with fly tipping.

They will work closely with environmental enforcement officers to bring prosecutions and deter illegal waste disposal by contractors and private landlords.

Dedicated alleyway patrol officers will also be deployed in areas of terraced housing to deal with complaints from the public and a newly-reinstated four-weekly cleansing schedule will help waste disposal teams recycle more rubble, wood and some furniture items that are regularly found in alleyways.

A six month campaign aimed at encouraging owners to clean up after their dogs will also be launched, targeting up to 120 dog fouling 'hotspots' across Wirral.

Dog owners, if caught, will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.