Dog walkers who don't clean up their pet's mess to face £100 fine

Daventry in Northamptonshire will become the first area in the country to enforce the rule

Under a new law designed to tackle Britain's dog poo problem, owners caught without a poop scooping bag will be fined £100.

People who fail to pay the fine within a week could be prosecuted in a magistrates' court, with their fine raising to up to £1,000.

The new rules, introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act passed last year, will be enforced by dog wardens or other council officials.

Frequent offenders can already be fined, but the law's latest language includes people guilty of "failing to have the means to pick up after [their] dog".

 

Daventry in Northamptonshire is set to become the first town in the country to adopt the measure, and many other areas are expected to soon follow suit.

The Daventry council receives 120 formal complaints a year pertaining to dog poop in public places, a statistic that environmental health manager Paul Knight said was "the tip of the iceberg".

He told the Daily Mail: "We have a number of hotspot areas. They tend to be quieter places where people are not seen or where they walk their dogs at night.

"We are anxious to tackle the problem on footpaths near schools, and if we get public support our enforcement officers will have the confidence to take action against culprits."

The council, which also serves 80 surrounding villages, will enforce the measure progressively, and has first asked officers to talk with dog owners and even distribute poop scooping bags.

"But if a dog warden has advised the same person a number of times and they are still leaving dog mess, then they would get a fixed-penalty notice that will have to be paid within seven days," said Mr Knight.

There's been a bit of resistance from dog owners' groups, with a spokesperson for the Dogs Trust saying: "We'd rather see time and resources spent on tackling irresponsible dog owners who are behaving in an anti-social way."

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