Supermarket shoppers are the latest to be targeted by Kirklees Council’s private litter patrollers.

Litter enforcement officers working for private firm Kingdom were spotted earlier this week near to the entrance of Sainsbury’s Shorehead store.

An Examiner reader says he spotted them handing out £75 fixed penalty notices for littering - and he wondered whether Kingdom staff were allowed to operate on private property.

An Examiner reader spotted a Kingdom staff member (on the left) handing out £75 litter fines outside Sainsbury's this week.

The answer is yes, they are allowed issue tickets on private land, according to a Kirklees Council spokesman.

The spokesman said: “The council has commissioned Kingdom to reduce the amount of litter being dropped in Kirklees by issuing penalty notices.

“Dropping litter on any land is an offence unless the landowner has given the litterer permission.

“As such Kingdom are permitted to issue notices to people dropping litter on private land.

“We haven’t asked them to specifically target Sainsbury’s, and the areas where Kingdom’s operatives work day to day are not set by the council.

“The council is however committed to ensuring that we tackle littering hotspots throughout the district and will direct Kingdom to these when they come to our attention.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said customers hadn’t complained about Kingdom’s operatives.

“We’ve not received any complaints from customers,” said the spokesman.

“As Kirklees Council has explained, we do not have a direct relationship with Kingdom, but we support any measures the council introduces to help keep communities litter-free.”

Kirklees Council employed Kingdom on a one-year trial deal which runs out in April.

The company’s operatives have previously been criticised for being ‘heavy handed’ and one woman claimed she was falsely accused of dropping a cigarette butt in Huddersfield town centre.

In August it was revealed 2,853 people had been caught dropping rubbish since the start of the trial in April.

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