You could be arrested for refusing to give your details to Kirklees Council’s new litter squad.
The council has confirmed officers working for private firm Kingdom can call the police if they have witnessed an offence and the perpetrator refuses to co-operate.
A spokesperson confirmed it was a separate offence to not give your name and address if accused.
They said: “The officer can call for assistance from the police, who can require the name and address to be provided.
“If name and address are still not provided, the person can be arrested.”
The hard-line tactics to clean up the streets have also seen new rules brought in to tackle irresponsible dog owners.
Anyone walking a dog who cannot prove they have a bag in their possession to pick up the muck, will be issued a fixed penalty notice, the council has confirmed.
The tougher rules are at odds with common opinion that the privately employed officials are powerless citizens who cannot enforce the fines if people decline to give their details.
Clr Martyn Bolt, former cabinet member for highways, said: “This may cause issues if there’s confusion about the rights of these officers.
“I hope the cases we’ve seen nationally, the really extreme ones like the chap who was fined for dropping his bookmark, are not repeated in Kirklees.
“There are issues that need dealing with like fly-posting, dog fouling, actual littering and people throwing cigarettes out of cars.
“If it cleans up the streets and sorts out some of Kirklees problems it’s okay.
“But one of my worries is the management at Kingdom is private so you may lose the discretion that council managers might have had.
“They may have only given a warning whereas this company is getting paid on its results.”
The Examiner has asked Kirklees to confirm how much of each £75 fixed penalty notice Kingdom gets to keep but the council has refused to reveal the figure, citing “commercial confidentiality”.
But the figures have been revealed in other areas at roughly £45.
Clr Bolt, the deputy leader of Kirklees Conservative opposition, said: “It would be good to know as if other authorities have revealed it we don’t know whether Kirklees is getting good value for money or not.”
The tactics used by Kingdom – a specialist firm based in Merseyside – have been controversial in other areas.
A national newspaper dubbed the firm the “Litter Stasi” after it allegedly fined Wirral man David Ellis £60 after a bookmark fell out of his book onto the floor. His fine was quashed on appeal.
The paper further claims over-zealous Kingdom staff have fined people for dropping cherry stones under a tree, accidentally dropping a receipt, dropping a small piece of orange peel and dropping bread in water – in other words – feeding some ducks.
The latter fine was dropped on appeal.