July 29 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Dog owners in Hadleigh are being urged to report incidents of dog fouling in a bid to clean up the town’s communal areas and make them safer for children.
At the recent annual town meeting, the subject of dog mess and how to curb it, was high on the agenda for the second year in a row.
But while the town council is responsible for installing dog bins, it is up to Babergh District Council to empty them and to issue fines of up to £1,000 to people who allow their dogs to foul on public land or in areas owned by the council.
Town councillor David Grutchfield said: “We really need to get the message out there that if you let your dog foul, if you get caught you can be fined a hefty sum.”
But local parent, Gavin Talbot, believes “threatening a fine is not enough and doesn’t seem to be a deterrent.”
He wants Babergh wardens to patrol priority areas to look out for dog owners who flout the rules.
Town clerk Carol Bailey said although dog fouling was a serious problem, there was “only so much” the town council could do about it. She urged dog owners to get involved in the ‘Paws on Patrol’ initiative, where they register with police and then report any suspicious behaviour they come across whilst out and about.
More than 120 people have already signed up for the police-generated scheme, which is designed to encourage and promote responsible dog ownership.
Mrs Bailey said: “Paws on Patrol encourages dog owners to join and report other people who let their dogs foul. If you report an incident to Babergh, they ask for witness statements to confirm that it has happened so you have to be willing to stand up and be counted.
“If you sign up for the Paws on Patrol initiative, you don’t have to put your name to it if you report an incident.
“I realise dog fouling is a serious problem which people in Hadleig feel very strongly about, but I really don’t know what more we can do.”
Anyone who is interested in joining the Paws on Patrol scheme can contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by dialling 101 or email via the website: www.suffolk.police.uk