Council vows to crack down on dog fouling offenders

Fareham Borough Council's poster for the 'Let's take the oops out of poops' campaign
Fareham Borough Council's poster for the 'Let's take the oops out of poops' campaign

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A CLAMPDOWN has been announced to tackle people who do not clear up their dog mess as Fareham Borough Council reveals it has received nearly 200 complaints about the problem this year.

Despite 197 complaints, no fines have been issued since a change in the law in October last year meant fines could not be issued unless they were in an area covered by a Public Safety Protection Order.

A poster against dog mess made by Camilla Ellwood, seven

A poster against dog mess made by Camilla Ellwood, seven

Now the council has applied for an order to be placed across the whole of Fareham and, as such, it intends to increase the on-the-spot fine from £75 to £100.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘It is only a small minority of dog owners who let their dogs foul, but it is still an issue. There is nothing worse than seeing a child playing in the park with a handful of dog poo.’

He said a number of measures will be brought in such as education, advertising and merchandise.

A poster designed by seven-year-old Camilla Ellwood will also be put up at dog-fouling hot spots.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Where we put notices really seems to work as it gives the impression that somebody cares and somebody is interested – and that the offender might get caught.’

A new council system has analysed all complaints made since 2012 and identified hot spots. The top wards for complaints were Portchester East and Fareham North West. More specifically this year, Chalky Walk drew 19 complaints, followed by Fishermans Walk in Portchester with 16 complaints.

Other areas for concern include Fareham Park Road, Moody Road, Laurel Road, Admirals Road and Church Road in Warsash.

Peter Davis, Fareham North West ward councillor, praised the campaign.

He said: ‘This will give the council more clout to deal with the anti-social behaviour. It is absolutely essential and I fully support it.’

Executive member for public protection Trevor Cartwright said he hoped it would re-educate people, especially those who tie bags with mess to trees and he urged people to get involved.

An eight-week public consultation about the campaign, which has been called ‘Take the oops out of poops’ by the council, will run until January 11. If approved, the campaign will run until March and will cost £2,780.

Go to fareham.gov.uk/consultations or call at the Civic Offices in Fareham to take part.