Shropshire Star

Anti-social dog owners could face £100 fines in plans to crack down on 'mess hot spots'

Anti-social dog owners could be hit with £100 fines after Shropshire Council voted through plans to crack down on “dog mess hot spots”.


Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

The authority agreed to establish a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Shropshire, which authorises council officers to issue fixed penalty notices for owners who fail to clean up after their canine companions.

The new measures will come into force in the county on June 1, and give police and council officers new powers to address dog fouling and nuisance dogs.

Introducing the report, Councillor Dan Morris said it represented a “really good response” to public concerns over nuisance dog owners.

“[It was] widely consulted on, lots of members came and lots of members of the public replied. I think this is a really good report in response to public concerns about dog ownership and making sure that the vast majority of dog owners are the ones that aren’t tarred by the brush of the few irresponsible ones.”

“It’s about changing behaviour and it’s also about targeting hot spots. If there are areas where there are repeat offenders, and it might be that these are at 4 or 5 oclock in the morning... those are the times we need to use the information and limited resource we have currently to target those areas.”

The PSPO covers four conditions, forcing owners to clear up waste, excluding dogs from fenced off play areas, and forcing owners to put their dogs on leads near roads and when directed to by officers.

Council Leader Lezley Picton added that the council was seeking to target dog owners who allowed their dogs to foul in public sports fields.

“These fenced areas that we’re talking about are play areas for children and predominantly playing fields, and if any of you have small children or anybody who plays Sunday football – it’s a real shame isn’t it that one of the first things you do when you go to do your football match is you walk the pitch to pick up what’s not been picked up by somebody else,” she said.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who would argue with how necessary that is.”

Porthill Councillor Julian Dean said the policy would need to be backed up by an effective public information campaign to drive shifts in behaviour of anti-social dog owners.

“This is very welcome. The big concern is about the effectiveness of this, and hopefully the effectiveness comes more from behaviour change and effective public information rather than pursing individuals. In order for that to happen we’re going to need a really good publicity campaign,” he said.

“I hope there’ll be a degree of imagination about how we do that.

“I would hope and encourage us to be imaginative about the sort of signs that we use in order to shift the behaviour change that we clearly need to do.”