Enforcement action against dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets as ninety five per cent of owners back new order in East Cambs

Enforcement action against dog owners who dont pick up after their pets from September 12.

Enforcement action against dog owners who dont pick up after their pets from September 12. - Credit: Archant

Ninety five per cent of people surveyed in East Cambridgeshire have backed powers to clamp down on dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets.

Owners will be faced with a £80 fine if they fail to clean up dog foul under a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which will come into force across the county from next Wednesday (September 12).

It comes as 129 owners supported the introduction of the PSPO out of 135 who replied to the public consultation which ran throughout June and July.

Council bosses say that 150 complaints about dog fouling have been received in the last year, with 25 new areas of the district reported as ‘potential hotspots’ in the last six months.

Sixty per cent of residents own dogs in the county, with those supporting the order saying it will “help the area become safer and more pleasant for visitors and locals.”

East Cambs District Council backed the report at the regulatory services committee in June this year before the public consultation was held.

Only six owners were against the scheme, stating not enough dog bins in the area, and that it was “ridiculous to require dog owners to search across a ploughed field for dog faeces.”

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“Increased fines will be able to be charged resulting in increased income to offset the cost of enforcement and clearance,” said Julia Atkins, senior environmental health officer.

The PSPO is set to get the rubber stamp at the community services committee meeting at East Cambridgeshire District Council next Wednesday (September 12).

The report states: “The majority of dog owners are responsible and appropriately clear up after their pets.

However the fact remains that a small minority of people still allow their dogs to foul and do not remove it.

“The PSPO for dog fouling will cover more areas of land, reduce inconsistencies and will help to provide a clearer, simpler system for the public to understand.

“It will be district wide condition requiring dog faeces to be picked up and appropriately taken away or disposed of in a suitable bin.”

The conditions of the PSPO would not apply to guide dogs or assistance dogs, but would cover ‘any section the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission’.

The current fine for dog fouling offences is set at £75.

But the Environmental Offences Regulations 2017, which came into force on April 1 this year, allows for the charge to be increased to £80.