Just a handful of fines given out for dog fouling in north Northamptonshire

Virtually every person who failed to clear up after their dog in the north of the county this year avoided a financial penalty.

By Sam Wildman
Monday, 30th December 2019, 7:00 am
Just a handful of dog fouling fines have been issued this year.
Just a handful of dog fouling fines have been issued this year.

Just a handful of fines were dished out across the area with two councils - Corby Council and East Northants Council - handing out zero all year.

Kettering Council gave out four fixed penalty notices for a total of £340 and a Wellingborough Council spokesman said they issued two, despite data which said they issued none.

Corby Council's lead member for environment, Cllr Mark Pengelly, said: "One of the biggest complaints I get as a councillor is about people letting their dog foul on the pavement.

"What we need to do is take action."

His Kettering Council counterpart, Cllr Ian Jelley, said: "The majority of people are responsible and take poo bags with them and pick up after their dog.

"There's always going to be a few who don't. The problem is you have to catch them actually doing it.

"Going forward we have got a lot more wardens coming in in January. If you have more wardens there's more chance of them being caught.

"The only way to stop them is if you make an example of people."

Councils have tried and suggested various methods to try and tackle the dog fouling problem, which blights local parks and pavements.

In 2016 officers from Corby Council’s environmental services team sprayed dog waste in the area in bright, stand-out colours to raise awareness about dog fouling.

Kettering councillors even discussed introducing DNA testing on dogs to catch owners who don't pick up dog mess.

An East Northants Council spokesman said they have two officers who carry out regular patrols, often responding to specific intelligence provided by the public.

The spokesman said: "Officers speak to dog owners about the importance of responsibly disposing of their dog’s waste including using the numerous dog foul bins across the district."

A Wellingborough Council spokesman said they also carry out regular patrols to act as a deterrent.

The spokesman added: "The council has also issued a number of community protection warning letters and notices for anti-social behaviour and due to the effectiveness of this approach, officers will continue to enforce this and issue fines when appropriate."

Keep Britain Tidy, a charity which aims to improve the nation's environment, said: "Dog fouling is not only deeply unpleasant, it is dangerous.

"Whilst rare, contact with dog excrement can cause toxocariasis, a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures...there is no excuse to leave it."