Only one person fined for dog fouling in Brighton and Hove last year

From The Argus today:

Just one person was fined for dog fouling in the past year – despite 432 complaints.

Four animal welfare officers carried out 315 dog fouling patrols but only issued two fixed penalty notices.

One of these was withdrawn due to insufficient evidence and the second was unpaid leading to prosecution.

Anthony Gallagher, of Windlesham Road, Brighton, was fined £100 and ordered to pay £350 court costs.

Dog owners who fail to pick up after their animals face fines of up to £1,000.

The figure was revealed at Brighton and Hove City Council’s environment committee after Councillor Graham Cox asked a question.

He said: “I asked the question because I suspected it would be quite low, but I didn’t expect it would be that low.

“I do think they ought to be a bit more proactive about it. I’m not suggesting they hide in the bushes or anything but maybe if they fine a few people it would put people off.”

He said dog fouling was one of top three issues raised by residents and called for a campaign to target the worst affected areas “as a matter of priority”.

Park rangers, PCSOs, seafront officers, traffic wardens and even residents’ should act as the council’s ‘eyes and ears’, he suggested.

He added: “The only way we will get offenders to change their ways is by increasing the likelihood they will get caught.”

‘Irresponsible’

Councillor Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “Our small animal welfare team does an enormous amount of work, and in the last year they’ve worked on nearly 2,000 reports of fouling, strays, dog attacks, animal cruelty and other animal issues.

“Unfortunately we cannot be everywhere at all times to catch irresponsible dog-owners in the act. We instead focus on a mixed approach that includes education, advice and enforcement.

“We carry out targeted work in known hotspots, for example by doing specific patrols, and holding responsible dog ownership days in partnership with the Police and RSPCA to raise awareness and improve owners’ behaviour.”

The council’s cleaning, refuse and recycling team Cityclean is responsible for cleaning up dog mess in public places in the city while the City Parks team clean up in parks.

A dedicated crew empties anything between 400-800 kg from dog waste bins every day.

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