292 complaints about dog mess but no fines
Almost 300 official complaints have been made about dog mess in the Ely area – but not one person has been punished.
Figures obtained by the News under the Freedom of Information Act show that East Cambs District Council has received 292 official complaints about dog fouling since 2009.
In 2009/10, there were 64 reports. In 2010/11 that number rocketed to 117 and in 2011/12 there were 111 reports.
Yet in those three years, not one fixed penalty notice (FPN) has been issued by the council.
Liz Knox, head of the council’s environmental health team, said FPNs were only issued if a council officer witnessed the dog fouling occurring or if members of the public provided sufficient information when they reported it – and if a witness is ready to testify if the case ends up in court.
She added: “The reason for this is due to the fact that the FPN provides an opportunity for the person committing the offence to accept the charge without going to court.
“If that person refuses to pay then the case will proceed to court.”
But keen dog walker Brenda Dixon, from Sutton, said: “I have three dogs and I walk them twice a day, every day.
“I carry an abundance of plastic bags with me so that I can pick up after my pets and dispose of their mess. Why aren’t other people doing the same? Because they are lazy and irresponsible.
“Dog fouling is a massive issue everywhere I go. The council needs to punish people, else they are just getting away with it.
The figures show that the three worst areas in East Cambs for dog fouling are Ely, Littleport and Soham respectively.
Source: Cambridge News