Dogs beach ban catches just one owner in a year

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JUST one person was fined for flouting a summer dog beach ban in Lee-on-the-Solent.

It comes as dogs are now once again banned from part of the beach and Stokes Bay until the end of September.

Each summer the exclusion zones start from May 1 and dog walkers face getting a £75 fixed penalty notice.

But a Freedom of Information request has revealed just one was handed out in 2013.

Graham Burgess is the chairman of the community board at Gosport Borough Council and represents Lee East Ward.

Cllr Burgess said: ‘People are coming down with their children, some of them are barefoot and the last thing we want is that on the beach.

‘A lot of dog owners are very responsible. People are generally abiding by the rules and regulations.

‘We investigate any reports and officers will go down there and try and find the culprit.’

A dog walker was fined on July 14 last year after flouting the rules.

Stevyn Ricketts is the head of Streetscene at the council.

He said officers need to catch people in the act to enforce the rules.

He said: ‘It’s all a matter of being there at the right time.

‘It’s luck of the draw in that respect. If enforcement officers are carrying out a patrol and witness it they will hand out a fixed penalty notice.

‘We do act on reports from members of the public who phone our free phone number.’

Dog walking is banned in two areas at the beaches in the summer. The first area is between Pirates Cove and the Beach Road car park in Lee-on-the-Solent.

And dogs are also banned between Pebble Beach Cafe and the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service headquarters, at Stokes Bay.

Cllr Dennis Wright is the leader of the Labour opposition at the council.

He said the council’s reduction in spending on enforcement this year would mean fewer people will get caught.

He said: ‘We do not want the problem of dogs’ mess on the beach. I would hope we could do more at least in the summer holidays.

‘Whenever I have rung up a dog warden he’s spoken to the person who has complained.

‘We can’t really stand there for 24 hours watching it.’

Cllr Wright added the number of complaints about dogs in his Bridgemary Ward has increased this year.

Report any sighting on freephone 08000 198598.