Anger as figures reveal ZERO fines for dog fouling in Hartlepool in a whole year
Council chiefs have called for help to tackle irresponsible dog owners and litter bugs as they blamed changes in legislation over the low numbers of people being fined for littering and dog fouling in the town.
A Freedom of Information Request made by community campaigner Mitch Wilson revealed just 13 people were issued with fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for littering in 2018 – and none for allowing dogs to defecate on verges and footpaths.
Mr Wilson, of Clavering, Hartlepool, said he was shocked at the figures. He said he picked up litter seven days a week, and bemoaned what he said was a problem with dog fouling.
He added: "Members of the Big Town Tidy Up group go to extreme lengths to keep Hartlepool tidy, but it's no wonder the town is like it is with no enforcement people around."
Brian Walker, chairman of Greatham Parish Council, said dog fouling has been an ongoing problem in the village for some time.
"I think the problem is people just believe they can get away with it because they aren't being prosecuted and prosecutions aren't being advertised,” he said.
"Most responsible dog owners do pick up, it's just the hardcore few that don't."
Hartlepool Borough Council said changes to the legislation to fine litter louts and irresponsible dog owners affected the number of fines dealt out in 2018.
A new crackdown was introduced earlier this year when councillors approved a £25 reduction for those who pay up within two weeks of being fined.A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “A change in legislation, which led to the town’s former Dog Control Orders being superseded by Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) last year, is the main reason for the lack of dog fouling-related Fixed Penalty Notices issued during 2018.
“Whilst an enforcement presence continued across the town during the period of the FOI request, the number of FPNs reduced as a result of the switch over.
“Officers are, however, now enforcing the new PSPO legislation and we would expect the number of FPNs to increase in line with previous years