Ipswich dog owners warned of ‘zero tolerance’ after fouling reports increase by 98% over four years

A reminder to dog owners in Jasmine Close, Ipswich.

A reminder to dog owners in Jasmine Close, Ipswich.

The Ipswich Star is today urging readers to report lazy dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.

The call follows new figures showing a significant increase in complaints about dogs fouling on paths, playgrounds and routes to schools in Ipswich.

Despite 516 reports of dog mess in Ipswich streets since 2010, only five fixed penalty notices have been handed out to offenders, four in 2014 and one this year.

In 2010, just two reports were lodged to Ipswich Borough Council’s Cleaner Ipswich Hotline, where people can report cleanliness problems in the town.

According to figures, released under Freedom of Information laws, the number increased to 53 in 2011, to 122 in 2012; 156 in 2013; 147 last year and so far in 2015 there have been 36 reports.

A borough council spokeswoman said there was more of a fouling problem along footpaths, alleyways and on grass verges.

She added: “Primary school routes also appear to have higher incidents of fouling, particularly during term time, although this may be due to increased reporting at these locations.”

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Shayne Page, manager of Rushmere Lions under 15s football team, said there was “definitely a problem” at Dumbarton Road Recreation Ground, where the team plays on Sundays.

“Nine out of ten times you find at least one there, I have always got bags with me so I can pick it up and put it in the bin,” he said.

“It’s just one of those things, people do not pick it up. You are always going to get the odd person not bothering, you are never going to stamp it out.”

Another borough spokeswoman said reports of dog fouling were investigated and the council took a “zero tolerance” approach.

She added: “Our officers will enforce if they observe the offence of failing to clear up after your dog has fouled.”

The borough council has participated in a number of campaigns over the past five years to raise awareness of the issue.

In 2010, it joined the national, Keep Britain Tidy Dog Poo Fairy drive, in 2012 it ran a ‘bag it and bin it’ poster promotion with vets, in 2013 it launched a litter and dog fouling competition in primary schools and last year dog fouling leaflets were handed out at events and at schools.

The council manages a Cleaner Ipswich Hotline for residents to report cleanliness problems in the town, which get passed on to the waste enforcement team.

To report an incident, visit www.ipswich.gov.uk/cleaneripswichhotline or call 01473 433000.

What do you think about dog mess in Ipswich? Write to Press House, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email newsroom@archant.co.uk