NEW “litter police” will crack down on rubbish and flytipping.

From Monday, environmental enforcement officers from Brighton and Hove City Council will issue warnings when they see someone dumping their rubbish or dropping cigarette butts.

But after two weeks the officers will begin issuing £75 fines for littering and £300 fines for flytipping.

The officers joined the council after the contract with controversial company 3GS came to an end.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the environment committee, said: “We’ve brought the officers in-house to ensure there is clearer management of the team and greater accountability.

“We also want to ensure we’re being fair with everyone so will be approaching people in the street, including residents, tourists and students, with advice on how to avoid being fined. We will also be dropping in on colleges, universities and language schools to ask them to remind their students on a regular basis how to be fine free.”

The officers will wear light blue jackets after some said the 3GS jet black uniform was intimidating.

But they will continue to wear body cameras.

Cllr Mitchell said: “There is still a large number of people who think throwing a cigarette butt on the ground or down a drain isn’t littering.

“But the first litters our streets and the second can add to clogging up our drainage system.

“Anyone caught after our two-week education programme will face a £75 fine.

“There are also lots of people who think leaving items they don’t want any more on the street, like furniture, mirrors or mattresses, is fine. But this is fly-tipping and a £300 fine will be issued.”

The news comes after 3GS was criticised for its “heavy-handed” approach by residents and councillors.

One resident said they had felt “like a criminal” after receiving a £300 fine for leaving three cardboard boxes next to a “full” recycling bin.

Sole trader Joy Flowers, 64, from Brighton, said: “The next morning I had two

3GS officers knocking on my door.

“They said they were recording me.

“Wouldn’t a letter be nice first? I felt like I was being made to feel like a criminal.”

Green councillor Pete West said: “Green councillors have received a great many complaints from both residents and small businesses who have been at the receiving end of a heavy-handed approach being taken by 3GS on behalf of the council.”