Council shakes up policing of Dog Fouling
North Somerset Council is just about to set up a civil enforcement function, employing new civil enforcement officers who will be integrated into the current parking department. This combined team will take on both car parking and environmental enforcement from 1st March. The Council will also be going out to consultation in early February to move the dog controls in to Public Space Protection Orders, which should hopefully give more powers.
Councillor Richard Nightingale says, “North Somerset Council received 373 complaints in 2015 regarding dog fouling. As Central Ward Councillor, it is one of my largest complaints. The Council has already adopted Dog Control Orders which make it an offence for a dog owner not to clear up after their dog has fouled and requires dogs to be on leads in certain localities, e.g. parks or sports pitches. Some of the current legal framework that relies on encouraging members of the public to provide statements needed for prosecution can be difficult. I certainly welcome any changes in policing that makes enforcement easier. As a former dog owner myself, I believe we have a responsibility for our animals and how they behave. It is completely inconsiderate for an owner to let a dog foul the pavement without addressing it. It can also be harmful to children and any other person or animal that may come into contact with it. Most dog owners are very responsible and it’s unfortunate that a small element can cause such a large issue. I also welcome the new civil enforcement officers who will certainly help to tackle this problem. There is no doubt that this is a difficult issue, but one I strongly feel we need to tackle to make our pavements and roads a cleaner and safer environment.”