The council is stepping up its efforts to protect our communities from litter and dog fouling with a fresh crackdown on those who leave mess.

The Environmental Enforcement Team has new body camera equipment which will allow the team to operate in wider open spaces, addressing and identifying offences.

Crucially the footage from the cameras will be used as evidence to support the issuing of fixed penalties and to act as a deterrent to those who choose to become verbally abusive.

It’s just the latest innovation for a team that has delivered outstanding results since they were tasked with helping to keep North Ayrshire tidy nearly 18 months ago.

In their first year, the team issued 228 fixed penalty notices to fly-tippers – compared to 14 in 2015 - and in total have issued 520 fixed penalties for a variety of offences, including dog fouling, litter and fly posting.

A year earlier only 32 fixed penalties were handed out. The team has also reported multiple offenders to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration of prosecution.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place said: “The team do a fantastic job and are extremely passionate in what they do.

“They have been extremely successful since they were established in April 2016 and we hope now that these cameras will make them even more successful and allow them to make our communities even tidier.”

The team already use dash cams to help identify those responsible for throwing waste from vehicles.

The five-person team consists of a manager and four environmental enforcement officers who patrol areas, monitor dumping ‘hotspots’ and issue fixed-penalty notices when people are caught leaving a mess.

They work closely with community councils and attend tenant and residents meetings.

They also implemented the school OB-litter-ATE initiative – which was piloted earlier this year at Auchenharvie Academy.