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Call for action on dog fouling in Brighton and Hove
Only one pet owner has been punished for dog fouling in the past year despite hundreds of complaints from disgusted residents.
Less than 1% of complaints received about dog fouling in 2012 resulted in a penalty notice being issued, according to figures released by Brighton and Hove City Council.
Community leaders said the figures showed a lack of willingness from the local authority to tackle the problem.
Bill Cowell from the East Brunswick Residents Association called for “undercover dog wardens” to watch out for anti-social pet owners.
He said: “We have constant problems with dog mess because the law simply isn’t enforced.
“The council’s excuse is that they’d rather educate people than prosecute them, and that clearly isn’t working.”
Mr Cowell said a community garden in Waterloo Street had been plagued with dog mess since it was opened.
He said: “These people are very crafty and if someone appears looking like a dog warden they will clear it up. That’s why we need undercover wardens to catch these people.”
Dog fouling is prohibited in all public areas in Brighton and Hove, including parks, roads and beaches.
Any owner caught not picking up after their dog mess could face a maximum fine of up to £1,000. But despite the council receiving 307 complaints between January and September this year, only one owner was prosecuted after being caught in Goldsmid Road, Hove, in July.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Enforcement of Dog Control Orders can be challenging, as it requires officers to witness the offence and to obtain the name and address of the person in charge of the dog.
“Successful enforcement of the rules relies on officers being in the right place at the right time and offenders co-operating with officers.
“What is common is that when officers are patrolling an area people will pick up after their dog. It is often the case that people flout the rules when nobody is looking.”
To report dog fouling contact Brighton and Hove City Council's Environmental Health department.
How would you tackle dog fouling? Comment below or write to email@example.com.
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