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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-01-28

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page

 

A ton of trouble for irresponsible dog owners

EVEN as the 100th Fixed Penalty Notice was issued for dog fouling in the last few days, Wirral Council continues to ramp up the pressure on the small proportion of dog owners who are irresponsible and don't pick up after their pet.

The council has also reiterated its thanks and praise to the thousands of responsible owners who not only routinely clear up after their dog has done the business, but also act as ambassadors for the Council's approach to tackling this issue.

In May 2016, Wirral Council delegated powers to its enforcement partner, Kingdom, to issue on the spot punishments to people who were observed leaving their dog's mess behind when out in public.

Since then Kingdom officers have been using information reported to the Council website by members of the public to target specific problem locations and have been enforcing the legislation whenever they have seen an offence.

Last week, they chalked up a century of fixed penalties issued within the 1st 8 months, compared to just 13 that were issued during the whole of 2015, when the Council's policy was more about education than enforcement. And as Spring looms, with lighter mornings and evenings, Kingdom will be continuing the zero tolerance approach by deploying earlier and later patrols.

At the same time, feedback from the enforcement officers is also confirming what the Council has always believed; that the vast majority of Wirral dog owners are responsible citizens and contribute greatly to keeping our streets, parks and beauty spots and clean for the benefit of everyone.

Cllr Bernie Mooney, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Environment, said:- "It is not surprising to hear that so many Wirral owners are doing the right thing when it comes to dog fouling. Not only are they setting an example by picking up their mess, they are also coming forward and telling us where they see other owners not doing the same. This just makes us even more determined to crackdown on this small minority who think they can get away with not cleaning up after their dogs. We have made a promise to local people that we will create and maintain an attractive environment for the benefit of residents and we are committed to achieving that by 2020. As well as the enforcement activity, we are backing our approach up with an ongoing marketing campaign to try to highlight to these people what a horrible impact their actions can have on others who might inadvertently come into contact with their mess. We are also piloting the use of bag dispensers in some of our parks so people can obtain a bag to clean up after their dog if they have forgotten to bring one out with them. The list of excuses that people might use for leaving the mess behind is reducing all the time."

Michael Fisher, Environmental Protection Director at Kingdom, added:- "This is a great example of a strategically developed public/private sector partnership, tactically deploying trained and experienced Officers in an intelligence led manner and effectively targeting the areas of dog fouling offending and other environmental crime. I would like to thank the public of the Wirral for their assistance in achieving these results."

 

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