Fines fail to stop Falkirk’s dog dirt problem

Numerous campaigns have been run to rid the district of dog dirt menace
Numerous campaigns have been run to rid the district of dog dirt menace

P​enalties are still being dished out for dog fouling as complaints continue about the state of parks and pavements.

The number of fixed penalties issued to irresponsible owners in the Grangemouth area in the 2012-13 period - which runs from April to March next year - currently stands at 21.

The final figures for 2011-12 were 58, while 62 fixed penalties were issued in 2010-11 and 23 in 2009-10.

Grangemouth Councillor Robert Spears asked for the figures to be compiled after he was inundated by complaints from residents about fouling near the town’s Bowhouse Primary School and Grangemouth High School.

A large number of concerned parents are now refusing to let their children play in the area due to the build up of litter and dog mess.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “One man regularly takes his two dogs to the primary school playground area and fails to pick up their mess.”

Another householder said: “It’s bad enough that some dog owners leave the mess, but there are people who actually take the trouble to put the mess in a dog waste bag then just throw the bag on the ground because they can’t be bothered putting it in a bucket.”

The Bowhouse playground is just part of a problem which is still spread throughout the Falkirk area. The council have been trying for years to rid the streets and parks of dog mess

But, despite the threat of fines and various awareness campaigns, the message just does not seem to be getting across to some people.

A spokesman said: “The council and public rely on dog owners taking responsibility to clean up instances of dog fouling caused by their pets - to bag it and bin it. Free dog waste bags are available from all Falkirk Council One Stop Shops, libraries and other council offices.

“Dog owners are advised to take a dog waste or other plastic bag with them any time they take their dog for a walk, and to clean up immediately after the dog has fouled in any public place.

“If a dog waste bin is not readily available for you to deposit your dog waste bag you can use any litter bin or take it home and put it in your refuse bin. Our environmental enforcement officers regularly patrol known ‘hotspot’ areas for dog fouling.

“When two officers witness an individual committing a dog fouling offence they will be approached and a fixed penalty notice issued.”

Legislation introduced in 2003 made it an offence for dog owners not to immediately clean up after their pet - failure to comply can lead to a fixed penalty fine of £40, rising to £60 if not paid within 28 days. Offenders can also be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may be fined up to £500.

If you see dog owners persistently failing to clean up after their dog call Falkirk Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Helpline on 0808 100 3161.