Published: 09/11/2012 09:30

Zero tolerance for dog owners

Written byby James Brindle

THE scourge of dog fouling in the Heath area of Uttoxeter has seen the borough council warn owners that it is taking a ‘zero tolerance’ stance.

Dog binOn Friday a neighbourhood warden and parks officer from East Staffordshire Borough Council took to the streets to warn residents about the ongoing issue.

They visited Grange Road, Holly Road, Princess Road, The Hornbeams and Windsor Road to letter drop all residents in response to a complaint regarding the amount of dog fouling in those areas.

Allowing a dog to foul and not pick up the mess is an offence under the revised Dog Control Orders (DCOs) which were made under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Philip Somerfield, head of regulatory services at the borough council, told the Advertiser: “We operate a zero tolerance policy and our neighbourhood wardens and neighbourhood parks officers will issue fixed penalty notices of £75 to anyone found to be offending.

“In certain circumstances, prosecution action can also be undertaken.

“The responsibility to pick up fouling falls with the person in charge of the dog at the time and not necessarily the owner.

“Not being aware that the dog has fouled or having a bag to ensure removal is not acceptable as a defence, so you should always carry a bag with you which must be disposed of in an appropriate litter bin.”

Having previously consulted with residents, parish councils and other community groups on the most suitable locations for their use, DCOs were introduced for failing to pick up after a dog, not keeping a dog on a lead in a prescribed area, the exclusion of dogs in specific areas and the requirement to put a dog on a lead by ‘direction’.

The borough council has recently undertaken a further consultation and will publish any new areas involved in due course.

Areas currently covered by the orders are available on the borough council website but include Bramshall Road Recreation Ground and Pennycroft football pitches in Uttoxeter where dogs are required to stay on leads.

Dogs are also required to stay on leads in areas in Bramshall, Stramshall, Draycott in the Clay and Ellastone, while dogs are excluded altogether from David Share Memorial Play Area, in Marchington, and the grassed area around the village hall in Stramshall.

The borough council said that if any member of the public knows of a dog owner who fails to pick up and can supply the name, address, time, date and place of offence, they can contact the team who will investigate the offence, issue a fixed penalty notice and proceed to prosecution if necessary.

Philip Somerfield added: “We rely on the public for information and we are prepared to name and shame, should these offenders be caught.

“Help us to keep your area clean and free of dog foul. You can report offenders or hotspot areas by contacting the neighbourhood wardens or parks officers team on 01283 508526.”

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