Scoop That Poop Or Face £80 Fine Says Ards Council
In January Ards and North Down Borough Council launched a major new campaign aimed at reminding all dog walkers to ‘Scoop that Poop’ or face a hefty £80 fine.
Amazingly there are 20,000 dogs living in the Borough.
The Council is determined to address dog fouling as it is a major concern to residents and visitors to the Borough. The key messages of the campaign are:
* supervise your dog at all times,
* pick up their waste
* bin it (any litter bin will do), and
* report offenders to help the Council take enforcement action against them.
Since April 2017, £62,000 worth of fines have been issued for dog control and litter offences across the Borough; the level of these fixed penalty fines is significantly up on last year’s figures which demonstrates that those who persist in being irresponsible are now much more likely to be caught and punished. That’s a hefty amount of money in fines, but there are still more offenders out there waiting to be caught.
Through this campaign, Ards Borough and North Down Council is not only asking all its dog owning citizens to do their bit to avoid creating the problem of dog fouling but is also urging all residents to help tackle the problem by reporting those irresponsible and selfish dog walkers who do not Scoop that Poop.
By providing as much information as to who, when, where offences are taking place, officers will be able to target the relevant area in order to catch offenders. Over 1,300 Council man hours over the next seven weeks will be dedicated to patrolling dog fouling hot spots across the Borough to detect and deter offences including during the early mornings, evenings and weekends. Those who allow their dogs to foul and not clean-up will be caught and fined.
The most common excuse given for not cleaning up after a dog, is that the owner didn’t notice it fouling, however, this is no defence, and the team is urging dog owners to be vigilant, to supervise what their dog is doing at all times, as not being aware that their dog has fouled is not an acceptable excuse; that way they’ll be sure to know when they need to ‘Scoop that Poop’.
The Penalties of Dog Fouling
The owners of the 20,000 dogs that live in the borough should take responsibility to ‘Scoop that Poop’ and to help them catch those who don’t.
The good news is that the number of dog fouling fines issued since 1 April to end of December 2017 has increased by 68% and £62,000 worth of fixed penalty fines for dog control and litter control offences have been issued, meaning more offenders are getting caught and residents’ help is vital in this work.
From the start of January alone £4,080 worth of fixed penalty fines have been issued for dog fouling and dog straying offences. Three quarters of fixed penalty fines issued are as a result of non-supervision. To supervise your dog means to watch them at all times when out in public shared spaces, where they go, what they are doing, to stay off your phone, avoid getting distracted from your dog, not only from an anti-fouling point-of-view but from a safety point-of-view.
To make a report visit:
and complete the electronic form. Details such as time, place and description of both dog and owner, and noting any patterns to the fouling, can help the Neighbourhood Environment Officers be more successful in confronting these offenders, dealing out penalty fines and hopefully reducing the number of repeat incidents.
Please be aware that completing this form is not a request for cleansing but it will assist officers to target their patrols to specific areas to detect offenders.
It’s not all about fines and catching the ‘bad guys’, it’s about rewarding those that do make the effort. The Neighbourhood Environment Officers feel strongly that it is important too to praise those that are responsible, that do ‘Scoop that Poop’ and bin it. As part of the campaign to help deter dog fouling, Neighbourhood Environment Officers are out and about in their branded vehicles and are going to surprise two ‘responsible’ dog walkers.
If they see you picking up after your dog you will be entered into a draw to win one of two Jolley’s vouchers worth £80, the same value as a penalty fine. Which would you rather have?
Thanks to Jollyes for supplying this really generous prize!
Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Robert Adair, encourages everyone to do their bit to keep the borough clean and tidy. He said: “We live in a beautiful part of the world, so let’s not spoil it through avoidable littering with dog waste. We must all do our bit to keep where we live clean and tidy – for us, our friends and family and of course for visitors to the area.”
A social media campaign will see a catchy ‘Scoop that Poop’ video used to lighten the mood yet highlight the seriousness of dog fouling; it will be sure to get people everywhere talking about the unlikely topic of ‘dog fouling’. The campaign will also involve a series of competitions to help engage the public on this really important topic. Visit Facebook/ArdsandNorthDownBoroughCouncil to get involved.