Vale of Glamorgan council to fight dog fouling with private enforcement team
A private security firm is to be hired by a council to enforce fines against dog owners who do not pick up their pets' mess.
Plans for a one-year trial in the Vale of Glamorgan are aimed at improving the cleanliness of streets, parks, beaches and other open spaces.
A meeting of the full council approved the move on Wednesday.
It follows a similar scheme in Blaenau Gwent where nearly 1,000 fines have been handed out since October 2011.
Geoffrey Cox, cabinet member for visible services at the Vale of Glamorgan council said: "This is a valid pilot initiative for us too in the Vale, particularly as Blaenau Gwent has already reported an overall improvement in their environmental land quality.
"The latest Welsh government reports show that in the Vale we are already one of the top three best authorities when considering the dog fouling incidents recorded on our streets by Keep Wales Tidy in 2010/11.
"However, our residents continue to be passionate about stamping out all instances of anti-social crimes such as dog fouling and littering.
"So while we recognise the majority of our dog walkers do behave responsibly, a few do not.
"It is these that we will be targeting during the trial and if (people are) falling foul of the law, they will face considerable fines."
The Vale is proposing to employ XFOR, a security firm which also offers council support services, and has been working for Blaenau Gwent, on a percentage basis.
XFOR would take 60% of each £75 fine it issues to cover staff wages and associated costs, with the rest going to the council to reinvest in dog fouling and litter initiatives.
Calls for better enforcement came from Barry Court ward councillor Richard Bertin who raised the issue at the last full council meeting.
"Dog fouling really is a nuisance and I fully agree with the residents who have concerns about this problem," he said.
"Let us hope that the announcement by the council that they are going to get strict with this matter will help clean up our streets."
Source: BBC News