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Dog mess costs visitor to Ipswich more than £400

11:23 12 October 2015

It is an offence to allow your dog foul a public space.

It is an offence to allow your dog foul a public space.

A dog owner has been left with a bill of more than £400 after she refused to clear up after her pet on the streets of Ipswich.

She was served with a fixed penalty notice – but failed to pay an this week the case was taken to the South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

Susan Bell, who gave her address as Whitehaven in Cumbria, was seen walking the dog – a Staffie-type – by a borough council enforcement officer on the river path off Bramford Road on February 18.

The officer saw the dog make a mess and asked Ms Bell to clear it up – and pointed out it was an offence to allow her dog to foul a public place.

Ms Bell said that she hadn’t got any bags. The officer asked for details and she said that she lived in Cumbria, but was visiting her boyfriend in Ipswich.

She was told she would be reported for the offence and may receive a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice in the post. Ms Bell apologised and a fixed penalty notice was sent out the next day. On 24 March it was unpaid so IBC sent out a reminder.

On 30 March, the same enforcement officer recognised Ms Bell walking the same dog. He asked why she had not paid the fine to which she said that she had not received the notice.

On July 1 the officer took a copy of the original notice and Final Reminder along with a letter warning of an impending court action addressed to Ms Bell by hand to the boyfriend’s house in Yeoman Close.

The boyfriend said he would pay it that day. He did not do so and it remained unpaid, so the council started court proceedings.

Ms Bell did not attend at court earlier this week and did not send any mitigation, but magistrates proved the case in her absence.

She was fined £150, with £233 costs and a victim’s surcharge of £20, a total of £403.

A council spokesman said: “Failing to clean up after your dog is a serious offence and if a fixed penalty notice is ignored we will take action. This incident has cost the defendant £400 and could have been avoided.”

Council portfolio holder Phil Smart said the case should help deter others: “We try to keep our streets as clean as possible and it is very unpleasant when people do not clean up after their dogs.

“To some extent we rely on luck to catch those who do not clean up – but when we do identify them we will pursue the case and I am glad the courts took this so seriously.”

Leiston-based campaigner Andrew Hawes – who achieved international fame earlier this year when he confronted pet owners who did not clean up mess in the town – was delighted to hear about the case.

He said: “I’m really glad the court imposed such a high penalty – as they should. This is a filthy habit and it ought to be stamped out (although not literally in this case!).”


  • i am with, another day in the mad house as i am having to clear dog mess up from in my front garden could i have the dog done for trespassing on my property

    Report this comment

    sgt bloggs

    Friday, October 16, 2015

  • Isn't horse poo edible?

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

  • we have two yorkies and always use the poop bags, its poor dog owners like this woman who gives good dog owners a bad name, I have had the mess actually on my gravelled drive and the woman was actually standing there and watching her dog do it, I had a right go at her, but she needs to know its an offence, and to be honest it should be a £1000 minimum, only then when they get caught and fined will they begin to get the message, don't they realise dog mess can cause blindness in children, not counting its a scummy action............its your dog YOU clear the mess up!

    Report this comment

    Alf Jackson

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

  • Just a thought how come horse riders are exempt when the mess is considerably more.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

  • Should be more. We live on a corner plot and everyday we have to clear up dogs mess from our garden. If you're going to let your dog use our garden as a toilet at least have the good manners to pick it up!

    Report this comment

    another day in the mad house

    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • Ipswich.Its a cr_p town .deal with it.......

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • To many irresponsible dog owners do not clean up behind them, everywhere you go its rife. A larger fine may, just may influence a few

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • It's a pity Suffolk Coastal Council doesn't enforce this as strongly, especially in Woodbridge and Felixstowe!

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • Silly woman deserves all she gets, lets hope they chase her for the money. In answer to the previous post, when she has a baby she will probably leave the nappy where it falls after she has changed it, baby poo is so much nicer than dog poo!

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • Only a small drop in the ocean. The fine should be a lot more and owners should have to pay extra council to pay for the dog wardens and dog poo bins.

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • Why can't people carry a a few food bags off a roll in their pocket? Let's hope if she ever has a baby she remembers to take nappies with her...I take bags out with me. I'm sick of lazy owners who don't clear up after them. There needs to be an alternative to the obstructive non fine payers. Community hours doing poo patrol, perhaps ?

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • They still have to get the money from her though.

    Report this comment


    Monday, October 12, 2015

  • Good job, she deserved it. Hahaha, bet she's not smiling now. Well done IBC.

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Monday, October 12, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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