Thursday, January 16, 2014
Great Yarmouth has a new weapon in the battle against dog poo: parking wardens.
The wardens will still watch out for cars parked on double yellows and overstaying their pay and display tickets, but now also have the power to fine dog owners.
Under the new system, wardens will slap people with fixed penalty notices of up to £80 if they are spotted failing to clean up after their pet.
Four civil enforcement officers have been authorised so far, with all 12 permanent officers expected to be trained over the coming months.
Their main focus will remain on parking enforcement, but the extra eyes and ears will help the borough’s three environmental rangers to catch nuisance dog owners.
Trevor Wainwright, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “Dog fouling is no better or worse in the Great Yarmouth borough than elsewhere in Norfolk, but we want to do our best to eradicate the problem.
“The borough has a zero-tolerance approach to dog fouling.
“The act of not clearing up after a dog is not only an offence but anti-social and potentially hazardous – especially to young children as it can cause blindness through toxocariasis if it comes into contact with their eyes.
“The borough council’s environmental rangers work hard to educate dog owners, and to tackle the worst offenders, but they cannot always be there at the right time to gather evidence.
“And the civil enforcement officers already carry out enforcement patrols, so it makes sense to extend their powers, at no extra cost to taxpayers, to increase the chances of catching offenders in the act.
“Most dog owners are responsible, but the environmental rangers would like to hear from any residents who see individuals breaking the law.”
The borough council’s three environmental rangers investigate reports of dog fouling by specific individuals or in specific locations.
To assist this more targeted work, the rangers are appealing to residents to report individuals they see breaking the law, providing as much information as possible, such as the description of the dog and person walking it, where and when the animal is walked, and the location, date and time of the incident.
The whole of the borough is covered by the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.
This means that those who fail to clear up after their dogs can incur a fine of up to £1,000 in the courts, or a fixed penalty notice of £80, reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days.
Anyone with any information that may help the borough council identify those responsible is asked to call the environmental rangers on 01493 846478.