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Sussex dog walkers to be spied on with CCTV
CCTV cameras could be used to keep dog walkers in check - with huge fines for those who don't clear up their pooches' poops.
Controversial new bylaws mean dog owners could be fined up to £1,000 for illegally walking their four-legged friends in banned green spaces, or letting their pets foul in a park.
Uckfield Town Council said they were considering installing cameras to monitor dog walkers after footballers, grass-cutters and pensioners complained about muck in council owned parks.
Councillors said they had been left with “no choice” but introduce dog control orders to ban dogs from certain areas, insist they are kept on a lead in others and crack down on dog fouling across the town.
Councillors are also calling for cameras at the Victoria Pleasure Ground, off the High Street, where dog fouling is at its worst.
Councillor Helen Firth said: “I believe police are planning to put CCTV on the Victoria Pleasure Ground. That is where the majority of offending is taking place.”
Council parks officers will be able to issue tickets to offending dog owners caught in the act. Anyone caught flouting the bylaws will first be given a warning and on a second offence would be liable for a fine.
But dog walkers are upset about the draconian rules.
Karen Wiles, who runs a dog-walking business and has a five-year-old schnauzer called Gem, said: “It has been a complete shambles.”
“Every square inch of grass in Uckfield has been covered by these orders. It has been a complete waste of time.
“Those dog owners who let their dogs run out of control and foul the grass aren’t going to take any notice. It is going to make no difference.”
Earlier this year Sussex Police community support officers were given the power to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling, amongst a raft of other measures.
Brighton and Hove City Council introduced Dog Control Order in January 2009 meaning that anyone who lets their dog foul in a public place an does not pick it up could be fined up to £1,000.
Hastings Borough Council bought four special dog mess vacuums – known as Henry the Poover – to suck up droppings in the town’s dog mess hot spots in 2011. The council said they hoped the machine would save them £400,000 a year.