‘Poo fairy’ myth debunked amid crackdown on dog fouling

Bin dog poo, Arun is warning
Bin dog poo, Arun is warning

Dog owners failing to clean up their pooch’s mess will be targeted in a new trial which will see offenders fined.

Arun District Council is considering teaming up with East Hampshire District Council to hand out fixed penalty notices for littering and failing to pick up dog poo.

The council can currently issue fixed penalty notices but rarely carries out enforcement due to a lack of resources.

The 12-month trial, subject to cabinet member approval, will see enforcement activity increase.

“There is no such thing as a poo fairy. You have to clear up after your dog,” said Phil Hitchins, chairman of the environment and leisure working group on Tuesday (January 18).

Arun receives around 50 complaints each month about street cleanliness, with approximately 60 complaints annually specifically relating to dog fouling.

Despite cleanliness being one of the council’s priorities, its in-house team has limited resources to carry out active enforcement.

The trial, run by a trading company set up by the Hampshire council, will be funded through income from fixed penalty notices.

Those caught will face an £80 fine, reduced to £50 if paid within ten working days.

If the fine is not paid, prosecution could follow, with penalties reaching up to £1,000 for dog fouling and up to £2,500 for littering.

The trial has seen an 87 per cent payment of fixed penalty notices in the nine months since it has been set up.

If authorised, the trial could begin in Arun within three months.

The working group unanimously supported the proposal.

Councillor Mick Warren said: “We should have done something about this years ago. I commend the officer (Nat Slade) for finding this solution himself. It needs to be enforced, driven home and to catch these offenders out.”

Councillor Paul English recalled Arun’s previous ‘pink poo episode’, where volunteers and officers sprayed mess in Bognor Regis pink to highlight the issue.

Mr Hitchins, meanwhile, suggested enforcement would act as a deterrent.

He joked that wearing his special ‘dog warden’ hat, while out walking his canine, encouraged owners to take action.