TRAFFIC wardens in Southampton are to wage war on the city’s litterbugs.

The council’s parking attendants are being given powers by Hampshire police chiefs to hand out on-the-spot fines of £75 for littering.

The crackdown comes after figures reveal the council handed out just 30 fixed-penalty notices for littering in the past 12 months, and just four for dog fouling.

Around 30 parking and enforcement officers will receive a certificate giving them the power to fine litter bugs under the police community safety accreditation scheme (CSAS).

Some council enforcement officers already have powers to issue fixed penalties for certain offences.

The scheme could be later extended to neighbourhood wardens, park rangers, housing association staff and environmental health officers.

Councillor Asa Thorpe, Cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Our accredited parking and enforcement officers will now be able to fine people for littering ensuring that Southampton’s remains a clean, bright and green city.

“Police forces that have introduced CSAS within their communities have reported a reduction in antisocial behaviour like littering.”

The council’s new Labour administration has pledged to provide a more “joined-up” approach to enforcing low level crime and antisocial behaviour.

Tory opposition leader councillor Royston Smith welcomed the move to empower the traffic wardens who he called the “eyes and the ears of the council”.

The CSAS was introduced by the Police Reform Act 2002 to delegate certain powers to organisations carrying out community safety and security functions.

Other Hampshire councils, security firms and the AA have been given various powers under the act, from requiring names and address for antisocial behaviour and confiscating alcohol and tobacco from youths to issuing to fines for dog fouling and controlling traffic.

To obtain accreditation for its traffic wardens Southampton City Council had to satisfy police that they were properly trained and supervised and a satisfactory complaints procedure is in place.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 makes it an offence to throw down, drop or otherwise deposit litter in a public place.