Dog fouling patrols go undercover to catch offenders in Havant

PLAIN CLOTHES A dog mess patrol warden in Havant
PLAIN CLOTHES A dog mess patrol warden in Havant

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UNDERcover enforcement officers are targeting people who do not clear up after their dogs.

Dog fouling is a major problem in Havant and an attempt to deter perpetrators earlier this year by spray-painting poo pink has failed to reduce the problem.

Now the council is stepping up enforcement by sending out officers in plain clothes to issue irresponsible dog owners with fixed penalty notices of £75.

Councillor Tony Briggs, who is responsible for environment and neighbourhood quality, said: ‘We have educated and informed but now it is time to get tough with people who continually do not clean up after their dogs in the borough.

‘Our rangers have been patrolling hot spot areas, but it seems when people see a uniform they get a conscience.

‘However we still have a problem, by patrolling in plain clothes we are more likely to come across the more irresponsible dog owners.’

Jayne Lever is one of the enforcement officers going undercover.

She said: ‘We have told people time and time again that they need to clear up after their dogs and we have patrolled in uniform.

‘I am sure those people who do look after their dog mess will welcome this approach as they always tell me that they are really fed up with others giving dog owners a bad name.’

St Faith’s ward councillor Ken Smith walks his dog, Baxter, in Havant Park, Bidbury Mead and the Hayling Billy Trail which are all hot spots.

He said: ‘It’s disgusting so I welcome this latest crackdown.

‘I don’t know how people can just walk off and not clean it up.

‘This time of year is a particular problem because sometimes it’s disguised in the brown autumn leaves and you don’t know it’s there until it’s too late.’

Last month Havant Borough Council revealed that enforcement agents Kingdom have handed out 2,300 fines in six months for littering.

But Pete Walden, chairman of the Havant Fifty Plus Forum, is not happy.

He said: ‘Yes, everyone should clear up after their dogs. But the enforcement officers shouldn’t be policing this covertly. They should be in uniform.’

The council said all officers will have ID and will identify themselves.

To report litter go to havant.gov.uk/reportit.