Warning over bogus officers, as XFOR fines 500 in Vale
8:40am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
THE company running a year-long pilot scheme in the Vale, cracking down on environmental crime, has handed out its 500th Fixed Penalty Notice - but is warning people to beware of bogus officers.
XFOR has been tasked by the Vale Council to help tackle dog fouling and littering incidents. Officers take a zero tolerance approach to environmental crimes, and offenders are issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75 without warning.
The teams started patrols on July 30, and in the weeks since, 500 people have been fined for discarding litter including cigarette ends, fast food packaging, confectionery, drinks cans/bottles and dog mess.
XFOR officers wear uniform and carry name badges, they patrol public spaces including the main towns and villages of the Vale, as well as beachside locations and parks. They also work in conjunction with local retailers. Officers wear on-body cameras to record footage, which may be used as evidence.
Brian Patterson, XFOR enforcement officer, warns that the team has received reports that bogus officers are working in the area, claiming to be from XFOR and marching people to cash machines insisting they pay unofficial fines.
"The public should be very clear that our team always wear uniforms, which include both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and XFOR logos," he said.
"We always carry identification and we never ask for money on the spot.
"Should we have reason to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, this is on official paper and the person who has committed an environmental crime keeps a copy of the document.
"If anyone is approached and doubts that they are speaking to an official XFOR officer, we advise that they let the police know in the first instance (as we work in conjunction with local police). "This should be done while they are with the potentially 'bogus' officer; the police officer will then verify our teams' identification - or otherwise."
He added: "We would kindly ask that residents inform both the Vale Council and XFOR team on 01446 700111 of any further information."
XFOR is a private, local authority support company, whose work is intended to complement that of existing council employed enforcement and compliance officers.