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Dudley dog mess fines hit £2,800

By George Makin | Dudley | News | Published:

Dog owners who failed to clean up after their pets in Dudley were fined nearly £3,000 last year.

Some of the people fined for dog mess were caught in Mary Stevens Park, pictured

A total of 28 people were fined £100 via fixed penalty notices but this represents a tiny percentage of the problem, with 399 instances of fouling in open spaces reported to the council in 2019.

The figures for the anti-social behaviour have been revealed in a report to the Ernest Stevens Trusts Management Committee which administers and maintains three parks in the borough.

Council officers said there were 96 instances reported in the Trust's parks - in Quarry Bank, Norton and Wollescote - and that last year they issued 23 warning letters and 28 Fixed Penalty Notices for dog fouling.

The authority is limited in how it can tackle the problem as an enforcement officer normally has to witness an owner failing to remove their pet’s faeces.

In their report to the committee, council officers said that members of the public are often reluctant to give statements which can be use to fine offenders.

“Often witnesses and alleged offenders reside closely together and where witnesses feel they would be unable to testify then often the only course of action available is a warning letter," the report said.

It added that dog fouling is not only anti-social but can also cause health problems such as Toxocariasis, a ringworm in faeces which can cause blindness.

The cost of cleaning up after dog owners national has been estimated to cost over £22 million according to the keep Britain Tidy campaign.

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The issue has confounded councils across the country.

A scheme to DNA test faeces was rejected by Southend council last year after it was pointed out that similar projects had failed because only responsible owners had volunteered to register their pets on a database.

Members of the committee will discuss the report at their meeting on February 19.

George Makin

By George Makin
@GeorgePMakin

Local Democracy Reporter covering Sandwell and Dudley.

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