People living and working in Dunston and Birtley were recently faced with 50 reasons not to drop litter, dog foul, graffiti, fly post, fly tip or generally deface their environment.
For Gateshead Council's virtual enforcement team recently hit the area as part of a continuing effort to improve the environment.
Armed with new powers to issue fixed penalty notices of £50, Gateshead Council's street scene enforcement team launched a five-day operation in Dunston and Birtley to encourage people to take better care of their environment.
Just one fixed penalty notice was given out in Dunston for litter and a second was given in Birtley for dog fouling and over 160 yellow warning cards were distributed to educate and encourage local residents not to litter or vandalise their environment.
Cabinet member for the environment at Gateshead Council, Councillor Michael McNestry, said: "The environment in Gateshead means an awful lot to local people - clean streets make a great impression on both residents and visitors to the area. This new team will help to maintain our high quality services and they are more than well equipped to introduce such a new service that local residents can rely on."
The team is made up of officers from local environmental services and regulatory services and is responsible for educating people and, where necessary, enforcing the relevant legislation, including the issuing of fixed penalty notices of £50.
Cllr McNestry continued, "Every year, we spend £3.7million on making sure our streets are clean. Vandalism in our streets causes distress to people who live or visit in the area. Our policy is to tackle the problem head on by identifying those people who act in this way, which will hopefully discourage others from copying and dishearten those who already vandalise their area. The team will be visiting other areas of the borough in the coming months."
The team also has the support of a rapid response team to deal immediately with problems of fly tipping and graffiti.