LITTER louts and dog owners who do not clean up after their pets are to be caught on camera in Glasgow – to help protect staff issuing fines.
Last summer, enforcement officers working in the city centre were issued with hi-tech camera badges for a three-month trial.
They were aimed at protecting staff from verbal abuse, intimidation and false claims of misconduct by aggrieved offenders.
But the cameras can also be used to record other types of anti-social behaviour or crime seen by officers on patrol, who can send the information on to police.
The scheme proved a success and now all litter patrol staff working for Glasgow Community and Safety Services are to be issued with the tiny cameras.
They will record the issuing of fines and the footage will be used as evidence in the event of a complaint from anyone or if enforcement officers are verbally abused.
Footage from the cameras will also be used to train new employees on how to issue fines correctly, handle potentially volatile situations and deal with aggressive people.
It is hoped the move will make staff safer and reduce the number of malicious complaints saving time and money spent investigating them.
Ten cameras were tried out successfully in the city centre and a further 25, which will be used by community enforcement officers across the city, have been ordered at a cost of about £12,500.
City council leader Gordon Matheson said: "More than 10,500 fixed penalty notices were issued by community enforcement officers in Glasgow last year to people who dropped litter or refused to clean up after their pets.
"Sometimes people are unhappy about being caught and can become abusive or make false allegations about unprofessional conduct.
"These cameras will safeguard staff from this type of behaviour and also offer the public reassurance that the service is being delivered in a professional manner."
Anyone caught dropping litter can be hit with a £50 fixed penalty notice. If unpaid the case is sent to the Procurator Fiscal, who can issue a fine of £75.
Around one in 20 fixed penalty notices issued in Glasgow were challenged last year – just over 500 cases.
Dog fouling fines are £40, but rise to £60 if not paid within 28 days.
Anyone who wants to report dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets can contactClean Glasgow on 0800 0277027.