Large increase in dog fouling reports
The number of reports of dog fouling in Rutherglen and Cambuslang rose by nearly 70 per cent between 2011 and 2014.
Figures released by South Lanarkshire Council show 205 complaints were made in 2014, compared with just 122 four years ago.
A patrol is sent out every time there is a complaint, although the total patrols in the two towns is not known.
In total, 636 complaints were made between 2011 and 2014 in the local area.
However, only 23 fixed penalty notices were dished out to the culprits, four in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and then 11 last year.
Across South Lanarkshire the number of patrols has risen from 758 in 2011/12 to 1778 last year.
In that time, 214 FPN’s have been dished out.
The council say the increase is down to high profile campaigns urging people to report those who don’t pick up their pet’s poo.
In 2013, the Reformer ran our Nae Messin’ campaign, which gained support from the wider community.
At the same time, the council started their “Wanted” campaign, with posters being put up and responsible dog owners given free bags.
Shirley Clelland, Head of the Council’s Fleet and Environmental Services said: “South Lanarkshire Council’s Environmental Crime Team are out there enforcing the no dog fouling ‘Wanted’ Campaign and targeting locations based on the highest reported complaints about dog fouling.
“The officers also patrol outwith normal working hours on the strength of reports from the public on irresponsible dog owner’s walking habits.
“These reports are invaluable, especially if you can identify the person or describe their dog and identify an area where this is happening at a regular time of day or night.”
The news was welcomed by Lynn Semple, of Friends of Overtoun Park, who run their own anti-fouling campaign.
But she said more work had to be done: “I honestly can’t say I’ve noticed an improvement - maybe very slightly on the pavements but this could be down to the amount of rain we’ve had recently.
“Recent experience of organising the Big Lunch in Overtoun Park showed that dog fouling in the park is still a major issue and requires specific targeting.
“We spent nearly an hour clearing dog faeces from a fairly small area of grass in order to provide a clean and safe area in which to hold the event.
“I think there are more people reporting dog fouling - I’ve certainly been asked by numerous people for SLC’s hotline number. Not picking up after your dog is being increasingly seen as an anti-social act which we should not have to tolerate.
“It’s encouraging to learn that SLC is conducting more patrols outwith working hours as well as during and that more FPNs have been issued than in recent years as this will act as a deterrent. SLC needs to keep that momentum going as there is still a long way to go.”
You can report the culprits by email via firstname.lastname@example.org or over the phone on 0303 123 1015.
If you prefer, you’re report can be given anonymously.
Not picking up after your dog is increasingly seen as an anti-social act
Progress Lynn Semple