Dog fouling fines up
IF PROOF were needed on how lucrative litigious Britain is for Local Authorities, then the old saying ‘Where There’s Muck, There’s Brass’ comes into play – the muck specifically being dog poo.
UK Local Authorities are issuing more Fixed Penalty Notices for littering than ever before – and more people are paying up when they get caught. New figures released this week showed that 3,675 Fixed Penalty Notices for dog fouling were issued in the year 2006/7 - with Local Authorities recovering a notable 84% of dog fouling fine payments.
According to the figures released by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the total number of littering fines successfully prosecuted, (the number actually being paid), has risen by 49% over the period from 18,002 in 2005/06 to 26,818 in 2006/07.
From April 2006 the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005) provided Local Authorities with a new range of powers.
Old dog byelaws were replaced with a system that allowed Local Authorities and Parish Councils to deal with fouling by dogs. Controversially the new law also enabled Local Authorities ban dogs from designated areas, require dogs to be kept on a lead and restrict the number of dogs walked by one person. A number of local authorities have moved to designate such areas, but protests form local dog owners, co-ordinated by the Kennel Club’s UK Dog has led to many such plans being dropped.
From April next year the law will also give Local Authorities, rather than police, sole responsibility for stray dogs.