Call for dog fouling offenders to be named and shamed in their local paper or on Facebook
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
Dog fouling offenders ought to be named and shamed to deter others, a former council leader has said.
Carmarthenshire councillor Kevin Madge said it would make a difference if people saw culprits’ names in their local paper or on Facebook.
“They would say, ‘Oh, Fred Bloggs has been caught – I better not do that,’” he said.
Cllr Madge also said he’d like police community support officers to dish out fines to offenders.
He was speaking at a Carmarthenshire Council environmental and public protection committee meeting, where cabinet members and officers outlined a new four-year litter management plan for the county.
The dog fouling theme was picked up by a number of councillors. Cllr Dorian Phillips said a lot of people with dogs had moved into his Llanboidy ward, and that some verges were “covered” in dog mess.
He asked if mobile CCTV cameras could be installed. “I think that’s the only way to catch them,” he said.
Cllr Tina Higgins asked if council enforcement officers could target hotspot areas out of hours.
“I have noticed dog fouling happens late evening and the early hours of the morning,” she said, although she added that only a minority of owners were responsible.
Cllr Alan Speake meanwhile said dog mess created a problem in parks for children.
Cllr John James, who chairs the committee, said members had pushed for a blanket dog ban on playing fields just as the first Covid lockdown happened in March 2020.
He said he thought there should be such a ban, and that colleagues should lobby for it if they felt strongly on the subject.
A council officer said there was a consultation about “enhanced orders” relating to dog control in public spaces, which could lead to extra measures on top of the current order. “That’s going through the legal process,” he said.
On the subject of mobile CCTV cameras, an officer said the situation was “a bit fraught” as the council had to be mindful about other activities going on in a location covered by a camera.
He also said that dog fouling was “fragmented” and “haphazard” whereas fly-tipping, for instance, could occur in a particularly layby. Signs saying cameras was operating in the area, he said, would also have to be put up.
Cllr Philip Hughes, cabinet member for public protection, said enforcement officers would attend out of hours to try to catch irresponsible dog owners.
People who don’t pick up after their dogs commit an offence and can be issued with a fixed penalty notice. If they don’t pay they can be ordered to appear in court and fined up to £1,000.
Carmarthenshire Council issued 12 dog fouling fines in 2019-20.
Committee members also asked about litter-picking carried out by the council and by community groups, and what could be done to make it easier for volunteers to tidy up their local patch.
They heard there were 59 litter-picking groups in the county, and eight council enforcement officers who targeted environmental crime. There is a vacancy for a ninth officer.
Problem areas identified in the new four-year plan being discussed included illegal dumping of waste, fast food litter and dog fouling.
It said there remained a need to change attitudes to recognise that littering was an anti-social act.
The document, called the local environment quality management plan, will need to be approved by cabinet before it as adopted.
Cllr Hughes said there was an onus on people to take pride in their area and in Carmarthenshire.
“Surely members of the public have a duty of care not to litter our county?” he said. “It’s disappointing that we have to spend this money on litter picking.
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said community support officers had designated powers to report people for dog fouling and littering but that the powers “are currently under review”.
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