Blunkett questions ‘unpleasant’ police attitude after fine for dog fouling

FORMER Home Secretary David Blunkett has revealed he was stopped and fined for letting his guide dog foul in a park without clearing it up – even though guide dog owners are exempt.

However, the Sheffield Brightside MP insisted his biggest concern was the “unpleasant” way he was confronted by a police officer over the matter.

Mr Blunkett was stopped by the officer when, unknown to the MP, his guide dog Cosby was seen fouling in one of London’s Royal Parks.

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He said the officer demanded to know if he denied responsibility and questioned whether he was “totally blind”.

Referring to the “plebgate” scandal which engulfed then chief whip Andrew Mitchell after he confronted police officers 
in Downing Street, Mr Blunkett said he decided that “there was 
no sense getting into an argument”.

He said: “On this particular occasion, I was fined £50.

“But at one point, given the unpleasant if not to say aggressive attitude of the WPC, I feared I was about to be arrested.”

He added: “I have to emphasise that I agree that dog fouling is extremely unpleasant and I fully support the steps taken countrywide to educate and enforce owners to clear up. I have no gripe about paying the fine but what shook me was the attitude of the WPC.

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“On this occasion I thought it was a fair cop, even though I thought the cop was not particularly fair.

“So I paid the fine – and found out the following day that guide dog owners are exempt from the regulations quoted.”

Last year, Mr Blunkett was not allowed to take his seat in the stadium for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games because he had brought his guide dog.

Instead he was forced to watch the event from a gantry.