Council says dog fouling "difficult to enforce" as it reveals hundreds of complaints from public
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 April 2015
Just five dog owners have been fined for failing to clear up after their pets in the last five years, according to figures revealed this week.
Despite receiving more than 600 complaints about dog mess in the same period, enforcement officers at East Cambridgeshire District Council have only issued penalty charges to five people.
The district council says that dog fouling is “difficult to enforce” as the dog owner must be witnessed failing to clean up after their pet before action can be taken.
According to the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, there have been 651 complaints to the council of dog fouling since 2010 – with last year seeing a peak of 157 incidents.
The council said: “The council’s environmental enforcement officer will routinely look out for dog fouling offences during the course of his duties, and issue fixed penalty notices if he witnesses an offence.
“Where dog fouling is reported the caller is asked for information that they have that would help to target offenders. If an offence has been witnessed depending on the quality of information provided enforcement action may be pursued.
“Unfortunately dog fouling is difficult to enforce as the dog must be seen to foul and the handler walk away without clearing up before action can be taken.
The chances of being in the right place at the right time are not great, hence the limited number of tickets that have been issued.”
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