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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Private firm will combat dog mess and litter

Denbighshire County Council has appointed a private company to tackle the blight of dog fouling and littering.

XFOR aims to clean up the streets with a crack team of enforcement staff, kitted out with video cameras to patrol hotspot areas.

* A poster, designed by a local youngster, asking people to
clear up after their dogs.
Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, Councillor David Smith, said: “Dog fouling and littering are two of the most common complaints we receive here in Denbighshire. It was highlighted in our latest residents survey as one of the most pressing issues in communities

“Not only is dog fouling a health hazard, it blights the environment in communities across the authority and now is the time to tackle the issue robustly.

“We will be looking to engage with communities, educate people on the need to clear up after their dogs and make it much easier for people to report through a freephone number and social media as well as the more traditional methods of making a complaint.”

XFOR are already having enormous success in Blaenau Gwent and Conwy is also considering using the firm to combat the problem.

Using XFOR for this purpose will not cost Denbighshire anything but the firm will take a percentage of what they receive from issuing fixed penalty notices.

In the coming weeks, the council will be producing flyers, guides, posters and postcards to be distributed through all council reception areas, libraries, schools, veterinary surgeries, supermarkets, town and community councils, tenants associations, leisure centres and tourist information centres.

Councillor Smith added: “We hope residents will get fully behind this campaign and help reduce this anti-social behaviour once and for all, ensuring Denbighshire is one of the cleanest greenest counties in Wales.”

To report problems with dog fouling, telephone the council’s Customer Contact Centre, on 01824 706100 (Welsh language) or 01824 706101.

Did you know?

Dog faeces can contain a parasitic worm which causes an illness called Toxocariasis in humans, which can lead to blindness.

Research shows through random soil sampling that the majority of the parks in the UK are contaminated with toxocara eggs and that a single dog mess contains approximately one million microscopic eggs. If every owner treated their dog for worms and cleared up after their dog, toxocariasis would be virtually eradicated.

Failing to pick up immediately after a dog is an offence under the Dogs Fouling of Land Act 1990 and Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Offenders can be issued with a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice and non-payment may be referred to the council's Legal Team for consideration of a prosecution. If prosecuted and found guilty the maximum fine is £1,000. Those that bag the mess but don’t bin it (i.e. they dispose of bagged faeces in a hedge or tree) can face a fine of up to £2,500 in court for the offence of littering.

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