THE private company employed by Torfaen council to enforce litter, dog fouling and smoking laws has issued more than 1,600 fines.

XFOR Local Authority Support was brought in by Torfaen council a year ago to clamp down on residents who drop litter or allow their dogs to foul in public.

In March the company went into administration and was subsequently bought by Kingdom Security Ltd.

Since the scheme started in January, the latest published figures show that between then and September, 1,645 fixed penalty notices have been served.

Of these, 31 were issued to dog owners for allowing their dog to foul and then failing to clean it up.

A further four fixed penalty notices were issued to dog owners for ignoring dog exclusion bans and taking their pets into school grounds, designated play areas and marked sports pitches.

The largest category under which fixed penalty notices were issued was for littering, with 1,256 people receiving fines.

The majority of these litter offences related to smoking such as dropping cigarette butts or packets.

This was closely followed by smoking in a public place, which saw 354 people receive fines.

By October, 1,065 fixed penalty notices had been paid and 67 had been withdrawn.

All instances of non-payment have been prosecuted.

The enforcement company was bought in to help deal with the hundreds of complaints that Torfaen council receive about litter, dog fouling and smoking.

Before the enforcement company was bought in, council officers used to undertake the enforcement work.

In 2010/11, Torfaen served 38 fixed penalty notices for litter and dog fouling, but it was felt that the level of enforcement had to be increased to meet public expectations.

As part of the pilot scheme, enforcement officers patrolled the streets and parks for 12 months. The safer communities scrutiny committee in October recommended that an enforcement company continues following the pilot 2013.

The enforcement officers don’t work on a commission basis, so they don’t get paid extra just for serving more notices and they follow the same policies and procedures as Torfaen officers.