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Residents want tougher action

RESIDENTS IN the city of Leicester are expressing anger that dog fouling appears to be on the increase in the city, but that no fines have been handed out in two years to dog owners who allowed their pets to foul the pavement.

Families are calling for city council bosses to get tougher on irresponsible owners in an effort to keep the streets cleaner.

They fear children coming into contact with dog faeces could catch diseases, including toxocariasis, which can appear in the faces of un-wormed dogs and which, in extreme cases can lead to blindness.

However, Leicester City Council chiefs argue it is difficult to catch offenders in the act. Across the UK, a total 2,329 fines were issued in the period April 2004 to March 2005. Mum-of-two Sarah Russell, from Leicester's West End, said: "Walking around the streets you can see dog fouling is increasing. It's terrifying to think one of my children could come into contact with dog mess and all the diseases it carries. It should be the responsibility of the owner to clean up after their dog."

The Act gives local authorities the power to hand out heavier fines to people who mess the street in a variety of ways, including graffiti, fly-posting and fly-tipping. Fines for dog fouling could be increased to £80 under the new law.