West Suffolk dog owners face £80 fine if they fail to clear up after their pet

Paul Sargeant, Andrew Harvey, Susan Moore, Paul Bishop, Alaric Pugh and Minnie at the launch of the

Paul Sargeant, Andrew Harvey, Susan Moore, Paul Bishop, Alaric Pugh and Minnie at the launch of the new dog control orders. Picture: ST EDMUNDSBURY BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Tough new fines are being introduced for dog owners who allow their pets to foul public areas in West Suffolk.

A new initiative by St Edmundsbury Borough Council is being introduced to help keep spaces open to the public, such as sports pitches, playgrounds and parks, free of dog mess which is not only unpleasant but can spread disease or be dangerous for children.

From October 1 Public Space Protection Orders are being introduced covering all spaces open to the public across the borough. Allowing a dog to foul in an area open to the public without picking it up could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80. If you do not pay the Fixed Penalty Notice then you could be taken to court and fined up to £1000.

In addition, dogs are excluded from some public areas, including play areas and fenced sports pitches during the playing season.

Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury Cabinet member for Operations said: “I must state from the start that the vast majority of owners responsibly clean up after their dogs and we want to work with them to challenge the unacceptable behaviour of those who do not.

“Some know what they are doing is wrong. We believe that letting them know they cannot get away with it may be enough to make them change. You can report to us direct on line through the Report It tool on the homepage www.westsuffolk.gov.uk

‘We have also produced a toolkit that includes a report form and we want as many community organisations as possible to download it from our website and use it to provide information for our enforcement officers to follow up.”

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Parish councils and sports organisations are among those who have to deal with the problem at a local level.

Loveday Perceval-Maxwell from Clare town council said: “The Town Council has done a lot of work to educate, provide bins and free bags and our street wardens have to clean up when irresponsible owners don’t.

“Of particular concern are areas in the centre of town where footfall is high and also areas where children play – green areas on housing estates and the playing fields.”

The toolkit and full list of areas from which dogs are excluded can be found at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/dogfouling

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