ENFORCEMENT officers have issued on-the-spot fines totalling £258,000 in just two months of a crackdown against littering.

More than 3,200 penalty notices have been given out so far in the “zero-tolerance” campaign by Wirral Council.

The local authority hired national agency Kingdom Ltd to patrol the borough - with staff using body cameras to gather evidence.

The drive began on July 1 and new figures show 3,229 penalties were issued up to September 22 – a huge increase on the total of 90 littering fines over five years from 2010.

Nearly were against smokers for dropping cigarette ends.

The new anti-litter crackdown has met with mixed views from Globe readers.

One man - hit with a £60 penalty after stamping out his cigarette-end  – said he was stopped by two enforcement officers who used what he described as “strong-arm tactics.”

The reader, who insisted on anonymity, said signs should be introduced advising that enforcement is taking place.

“If I see a sign that says no parking I know not to park there or I’ll get a fine. If people saw signs warning them they would get a fine for littering, they wouldn’t do it,” he said.

The town hall is standing firm in its belief that everyone knows littering is wrong.

Councillor Bernie Mooney, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “We have no cause to question the approach that litter enforcement staff are taking in carrying out their duties.

"Whenever concerns have been raised, video evidence has been reviewed and on no occasion has the conduct of officers fallen below the standards we would expect.

“There are no plans to put signs up in relation to litter enforcement.

"The message is a simple one – dropping litter in any public place is an offence and if you are caught, you will be fined.”

The £80 penalty is reduced to £60 if paid within ten days.

The council shares a percentage of each fine with Kingdom and says the rate of payments received currently stands at around 55% - meaning total revenue generated is in the region of £110,000 to £142,000.