BROMLEY Council hopes to get tough on littering and dog fouling by hiring a private firm to enforce penalty notices.

Local authority support group XFOR, which also specialises in security and private investigations, will be hired for a six month trial period expected to start in the summer.

Uniformed enforcement officers from the company will issue fines to offenders who drop litter or allow their dogs to defecate in a public place.

From April 2011 to March this year, Bromley Council officers and the Met have handed out 40 penalty notices including 12 for littering and 13 for dog fouling.

The current level of fine is £80, which is reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days.

However under the new scheme with XFOR, there will be no reduction on offer for early payments.

The plans follow a similar two-year trial carried out by Enfield Council in 2009.

XFOR issues around 4,700 fines each year, with 99 per cent of these for cigarette littering.

Officers wear video cameras that record the exchange with the alleged offender.

In January, Damian Cerase, 48, kicked up a stink about persistent dog fouling on a footpath nicknamed "Poo Alley", off Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley.

Mr Cerase welcomed the council's acknowledgement of the problem but said the issue was more about people's attitudes.

He said: "The first thing that springs to mind is how will they enforce it? How's it going to work?

"But I don't blame the council. It's got to the stage that people could not care less. How do you change people's attitudes? It's a difficult one to solve."

Portfolio holder for environment, Councillor Colin Smith said: “The cleanliness of our high streets and shopping parades remains a priority for this administration and this initiative demonstrates our intent to improve the standards further still.

“People have to take responsibility for their own actions and both littering and dog fouling remain completely unacceptable.

“The appointment of the contractor for a trial period will enable us to target the relatively small minority who flagrantly continue to litter our streets or fail to clean up after their dogs.”