LITTERBUGS accused of repeatedly dumping the contents of bin bags in Barrow town centre could see themselves being brought before the courts.

For well over a year instances of fly-tipping and littering have become a common occurrence in and around Coronation Gardens, next to Emlyn Hughes House, in Abbey Road. Bin bags have been emptied at the site and rifled through with the remains then left in situ.

The problem has also been highlighted at others locations in Barrow.

Town centre pub the Barrow Arms posted on Facebook on Sunday: "There’s a gentleman who keeps going in bins in the town and dumping them round my business and others. I've informed the police but apparently it’s not a crime and the man obviously has issues. Therefore around the pub is looking messy sorry but it’s not our rubbish. Our bin is locked."

Donna Tyson replied: "I am fed up of him his trashing our town every day. I see him in bins leaving a trail of rubbish in his path. How's it not a crime? I've been fined £50 for dropping a fag end."

Husband and wife Thomas and Stella Ryan both agreed the issue needed to be tackled.

Litter is getting worse, we've seen a man emptying bin bags in the street. I think he needs to be approached by the authorities because he might need help," Mrs Ryan told The Mail.

Mr Ryan added: "He might have mental problems, but it is not very good, is it? Leaving the town like that is disgraceful and it is dangerous for children and the elderly."

Meanwhile Jodie Edwards said the issue was worse in other areas of the town.

"I live in the Hindpool area and I think litter is much worse there than it is in the town centre," she said.

"I think that it should be a combination of the council and the police that deal with people who purposefully litter. The council need to be much more assertive and do something about the mess, and there needs to be a deterrent put in place by the police."

The Mail contacted police who confirmed littering is a crime and they were aware of the issue in Barrow.

A constabulary spokesman said: “Police are aware of a littering issue in the area of Coronation Gardens in Barrow.

“Littering is a crime and where evidence is available officers would consider all options including prosecution.

“Police work closely with partner agencies, including Barrow Borough Council who are the lead agency for fly-tipping incidents, and will share information on such issues so action can be taken to prevent further incidents.

“Just last week police in Barrow, as part of The Mail’s ‘Big Clean’, conducted a litter-picking operation in Hindpool in order to educate people on how such behaviour can impact the quality of life for local residents.

“Police in Barrow would like to help organise and participate more community-led litter picks. Please contact your local PCSO to arrange this.”

Bosses at Barrow Borough Council's Streetcare department have called on town centre businesses to make sure their trade bins at the rear of their premises are locked.

Alan Barker from the Streetcare team has said: "Businesses need to be aware that it is their legal responsibility to secure their waste and the 'gas box' locks aren't sufficient. We'd recommend they contact their supplier and arrange for a chain lock to be added."