The campaign is targeting a persistent minority of dog owners who knowingly break the law by allowing their dogs to foul public places. Although the action covers the whole of Bangor, the initiative will focus more intensively on areas such as Eithinog, Coed Mawr and Hirael Bay where members of the public have indicated that some dog owners fail to clean up after their pets.
It is a criminal offence not to clear up after a dog under your control has fouled in any public area. Offenders are liable to receive a £75 fixed penalty from Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Wardens, Maritime and Country Parks Staff or Police Community Support Officers. Failure to pay the fine could lead to a court summons and a fine of up to £1,000.
Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Senior Environment Portfolio Leader, said: “Dog mess in public places such as pavements and parks causes more concern than any kind of environmental crime. Coming into contact with dog mess can cause serious illness and young children are particularly vulnerable to this, and I’m surprised that some owners act in such an anti-social and irresponsible manner.
“To deal with this problem, the Council’s Street Enforcement Wardens and targeting known problem areas at times of the day when we suspect those responsible are walking their dogs. There is no excuse for failing to clean up after your dog – such behaviour is totally unacceptable.”
Councillor Elin Walker Jones, who represents the Glyder ward in Bangor on Gwynedd Council, has been helping Bangor Pride to raise awareness of the problem locally.
She said: “Dog mess problems are certainly not unique to this area. Unfortunately, it is a visible problem which affects members of the public as they enjoy walks in the Glyder area. The area has recently benefited from the investment of a new path which links the communities of Eithinog and Penrhos – and I have received numerous complaints about dog mess problems on this path as well as others in the area.
“It is also a problem which effects the nearby schools with pupils and parents walking along the paths. It is totally unacceptable and disgusting. I’m working with the Council’s Tidy Town officer, street enforcements officers, discussing with the schools and trying to raise awareness amongst residents. By tackling the issue together we can reduce the problem. Contact me or the Council directly to ask for dog poop bag kit – they’re available for free.”
During 2010-11, Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team issued 185 fixed penalty notices for dog fouling and litter offences.
What can you do?
If you’re a dog owner make sure you always carry plenty of poop-scoop bags with you when you walk your dog. Wrapped dog mess can be put in a public bin or take it home and dispose of it responsibly.
To request a free dog-poop bag dispenser, contact Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns Officer on 01766 771000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Name and Shame
The public can also help by reporting those responsible by contacting Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team confidentially on 01766 771000, or by visiting www.gwynedd.gov.uk/do-it-online
Gwynedd’s Tidy Towns Initiative is sponsored by the Welsh Government.