Large in­crease in dog foul­ing re­ports

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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 cus­tomer.ser­vices@south­la­nark­shire.gov.uk 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

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