CITY bosses are to crack down on lazy litterbugs by hitting them in the pocket.

Enforcement officers could be sent out to patrol the streets of Southampton five days a week, one of which will be a Saturday, in a bid to catch and fine people who drop litter and cigarette butts.

Litterbugs could face fines of up to £75, which would be reduced to £55 if paid within the first ten days.

The proposals are expected to be discussed by cabinet members at Southampton City Council on February 11.

If approved, the scheme would be rolled out for 12 months before being re-assessed.

People under 18 and “those who lack capacity to understand the offence due to mental illness, learning difficulties or other condition” will not be fined.

Civic chiefs in Southampton are expected to delegate the service to East Hampshire District Council.

The district council would provide trained officers who will patrol “agreed hot spot areas” within the city.

But the city council shall pay the district council a flat rate of £55 “per correctly issued fixed penalty notice”.

This fee will cover the district council being responsible “for the provision of suitably qualified staff, the processing of all fixed penalty notices including final reminders, representations, preparation of court packs, and phone calls”, according to an official document.

It is not yet known when the scheme would be implemented if approved.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, cabinet member for place and transport and deputy leader at the city council,

said: “It’s genuinely just trying to clean up the city. If there are no people dropping litter then we would have succeeded ”

Civic chiefs said the proposals will gradually change public behaviour and demonstrate that the city council has zero tolerance regarding litter.

According to an official report, if the city council had to provide the service it would require “an increase to the existing establishment along with training, equipment and other costs that would require additional funding over and above the proposed option”.

Opposition councillors also welcomed the move with Cllr Steven Galton saying it is great.

A final decision is expected to be made by cabinet members on Tuesday afternoon.