Tough Penalties For Dog Fouling Planned
Hounslow Council want dog control orders and new litter laws
Dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets and people dropping litter in public could soon be fined up to £80 if proposals are agreed by Hounslow Council’s Cabinet.
Councillors will consider plans to introduce dog control orders across the borough, following the success of a pilot scheme in Brentford.
The orders will make it an offence to not remove dog mess, as well as not keeping a dog on a lead, taking more dogs than specified onto public land and taking dogs into areas where they are excluded.
If approved, the plans will also give the police the power to issue fixed penalty notices to people who drop litter.
The issue of dog fouling in the borough was recently highlighted by a reader of this website who discovered that Hounslow Council had failed to issue any fixed penalty notices for dog fouling in the borough despite over 1,200 complaints over a period of nearly eight years.
A Freedom of Information request by a Chiswick resident discovered a total of 1,287 complaints were made about dog fouling in the borough between January 2005 and September 2012. The highest yearly total was 228 complaints made in 2008 and this year, the total was 65 complaints, up to September 1st. The Council said in response to this that plans were underway to bring in dog control orders by the end of this year.
Cllr Ed Mayne, cabinet member for community safety and regulatory services, said:
“Most dog walkers are responsible and clean up after their pets, but the few who don’t can make an area extremely unpleasant for everyone else.
“By putting dog control orders in place both council officers and the police will be able to fine people who think the mess they are leaving behind is someone else’s problem.
“We also want to make sure we are working with our partners in the police to tackle littering, by giving them the power to issue fixed penalty notices.
“I hope the threat of a fine is enough to encourage people to behave responsibly, but if they don’t, we won’t hesitate to use these powers.”
Currently, only authorised council staff can issue fixed penalty notices for environmental crimes such as littering, graffiti or fly-posting. However, these require the offenders to provide a name and address, which is not always easy to obtain. Giving the powers to the police will help overcome this problem.
If the orders are put in place, fixed penalty notices of £80 could be issued by council staff and the police, or £50 if the fine is paid within 10 days.
Councillor Liz Mammatt, (Conservative Deputy Group Leader, and ward member for Bedfont) commented:
"Labour needs to co-ordinate its actions to facilitate this by providing more bins which must be consistently maintained and emptied regularly.
"They are frequently broken and full. In June 2010, I asked that more be installed on the green by Sandbanks and Imperial Road to be told first that this location would be added to the on-going replacement programme and later that the schedule was on hold. The request has therefore been repeated. Similarly dog bins could not be put on the green sward on the Staines Road by Page Road. Such complacency is deplorable.
"This is a serious health issue on which Labour must match action with words.”
November 26, 2012