TOUGHER penalties to tackle litter louts and graffiti vandals in Wyre Forest come into force this weekend.

Fines for a range of environmental offences have been doubled from £75 to £150, although offenders would see this reduced to £100 if paid promptly.

Wyre Forest District Council approved the measures earlier this year and they come into force on Saturday, September 1.

An authority spokesman said the aim is to send a clear message out to people who discard litter in the street, fly-post or daub graffiti around the area that the council is serious about keeping the district clean and looking good.

The new penalties are part of a multi-pronged approach which includes educating and encouraging members of the public to play their part.

The move also brings the district into line with the Government’s new National Litter Strategy for England, adopted in April 2018, allowing councils to raise maximum penalties for a range of environmental offences.

Cabinet Member for Operational Services Councillor Rebecca Vale said: “The vast majority of local people fully support our efforts to keep the district clean and looking good.

“We will continue to campaign and encourage people not to litter or spoil the local environment and penalise people who have such disregard for the area.

“If we could eradicate environmental crime completely we would have no need to issue any fixed penalty notices and could divert the thousands of pounds we spend cleaning up the district each year into other frontline services.”