203Nearly 100 people were handed fixed penalty notices for committing environmental crimes in County Durham throughout September.

Durham County Council issued 65 for littering, eight for dog fouling and 20 for untidy gardens or yards and failing to comply with litter clearing notices.

The council works with police and other agencies to improve the environment and promote safer communities by tackling issues that affect the quality of life, such as persistently straying dogs or antisocial behaviour.

It also regularly carries out education and engagement campaigns to promote and instil pride in communities.

During September, 39 community protection warnings and 21 community protection notices were handed to properties with untidy gardens or yards.

A total of 160 stray dogs were removed, highlighting the importance of making sure dogs are microchipped, and 277 antisocial behaviour incidents were reported.

And as part of Operation Stop It, a multi-agency crackdown on flytipping, two people were prosecuted through the courts for illegally dumping waste.

Nearly 550 flytipping incidents were reported and investigated, two of which were caught on CCTV, and 17 waste carriers were stopped and checked to make sure they had the correct licences – with five failing to produce the right documents.

Cllr Brian Stephens, the council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Flytipping in the county has fallen by more than 30 per cent since we launched Operation Stop It, which shows that this approach is working.

“However, we are also very mindful of the importance of educating communities about the impact that environmental offences have and we would also urge people to continue reporting these incidents to us.”

For information about Household Waste Recycling Centres visit www.durham.gov.uk/hwrc and to book a bulky waste collection call 03000 261 000.

Licensed waste carriers can be found at www.gov.uk/find-registered-waste-carrier or arrange a trade waste collection at www.durham.gov.uk/commercialwaste or call 03000 262 660.

Enviro-crimes, including flytipping can be reported at www.durham.gov.uk or by calling 03000 261 000 and unlicensed waste carriers and waste crime can be reported anonymously at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.