‘Snoopers’ claim denied in fight against dog fouling

DOZENS of parish councillors are coming forward to gather evidence against dog owners who fail to clear up their pets’ mess.

East Riding Council is beginning training sessions with 15 parish councils after a successful pilot earlier this year.

So far this year there have been 619 complaints about fouling – 40 per cent up on the same period last year.

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The parish councillors are taught how to collect evidence for issuing £75 fixed penalty notices and court cases.

East Riding Council’s public protection manager Paul Abbott said some people were prepared to give statements, while others only wanted to give names, dates and the place where the fouling happened.

Asked whether there were concerns about turning members of the public into “snoopers”, he said: “It is something that society as a whole deems to be unacceptable.

“For every person who says it is not right for the council to enforce bylaws, you’d find a dozen who would say we need to do more and increase the capacity of people being seen and dissuaded.”

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Since April the council has issued 17 penalty notices, but Mr Abbott said it was often enough to write to a dog owner with a warning.

He said as well as the “real enthusiasm” being shown by parish and town councils, they had received inquiries from rural authorities interested in running a similar scheme.

Councillor Jackie Cracknell, portfolio holder for community involvement and performance, said: “This scheme is about making sure those few irresponsible owners, who have not yet got the message that they have to clean up the mess, come under greater pressure.

“The aim is to improve the reporting of incidents of dog fouling and speed up the time it takes to deal with them. We hope that by involving town and parish councils, residents will feel more comfortable reporting to their local representative what they have seen or an owner who persistently offends.”

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The town and parish councils involved include Driffield, Hutton Cranswick, Skerne and Wansford, Barmby Moor, Pocklington, Millington, Newbald, North Cave, South Cave, Burstwick, Hedon, Preston, Gowdall, Pollington, and Snaith and Cowick.

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