More than 70 litterbugs have been issued with fines in just two weeks as the authorities look to tackle rubbish in the town centre.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has brought in a private environmental enforcement firm to help tidy up Weymouth town centre in a pilot scheme.

Two new patrol officers, wearing body cameras, are walking the streets of Weymouth issuing £75 fines to anyone caught dropping litter including cigarette ends, allowing their dogs to foul, or those spraying graffiti.

They are also targeting traders who fail to make sure that rubbish is stored and disposed of correctly. The scheme has been up and running for two weeks and 71 tickets have been issued already.

Liam Johnson, 21, is one of the new recruits. He said: “I’ll be handing out fixed penalty notices for dog poo, spitting, litter, dropping cigarettes butts and feeding pests such as seagulls.

“The reaction has been very positive so far. I’ve had people coming out from shops to shake my hand because they don’t’ have to send staff out to clean up, councillors are happy and police officers are pleased.”

Liam applied to become an enforcement officer because he enjoys working outdoors and with people.

“It think it’s all about respect,” said Liam. “Treat people with the respect you would like to be treated with. We won’t fine vulnerable people, but we’ll offer advice. It’s as much about education as it is anything else.”

Liam - who will be joined by another new officer next week - is optimistic about the scheme and believes it will be a success.

“The majority of it will be in the town centre,” said Liam. “But I have been to Lodmoor, Greenhill Gardens, the Rodwell Trail and to Radipole. The aim is to keep the streets clean.”

Cllr James Farquharson said it’s “early days” but the “signs look like officers are being effective” issuing tickets.

“They can’t issue enough fines,” said Cllr Farquharson. “We should not accept living in our own neighbours’ filth and if people aren’t going to stop, enforcement is the only option. It’s early days but the word will get out that there are consequences for poor neighbourly behaviour.”