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Fixed penalty tickets call dirty dogs to heal in West Suffolk

David Bowman Forest Heath Cabinet member for operations and John Smithson, Forest Heath Ranger at Aspal Close Local Nature Reserve,
David Bowman Forest Heath Cabinet member for operations and John Smithson, Forest Heath Ranger at Aspal Close Local Nature Reserve,

From today anyone who does not clear up after their dog in a public space can be given a fixed penalty by the West Suffolk Councils.

St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath Councils have introduced Public Space Protection Orders covering all spaces open to the public.

Allowing a dog to foul in an area open to the public without picking it up could result in a fixed penalty notice of £80.

If you do not pay that you could be taken to court and fined up to £1000.

In addition, dogs are excluded from some places, including play areas and fenced sports pitches.

Communities are being asked to pass on details of any fouling incidents they may see for council enforcement officers.

Peter Stevens, St Edmundsbury Cabinet member for operations, said: “Educating on dog fouling has been very effective with the majority of dog and the vast majority of owners responsibly clean up after their dogs.

“We want to work with them, and other community members to challenge the unacceptable behaviour of those who do not. We believe that some of them know what they are doing is wrong and that letting them know they cannot get away with it may be enough to make them change.”

His Forest Heath equivalent David Bowman, added: “We are asking residents to pass on details of any incidents you may see, directly to us on line using the ‘Report It’ tool on our home page www.westsuffolk.gov.uk

“We have also produced a toolkit that includes a report form and are inviting as many community organisations as possible to download it from our website www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/dogfouling and use it to provide information for our enforcement officers to follow up.”

The information provided is treated as confidential and will never be shared without your permission. Please give us as much detail as possible.‘

Community groups and sports organisations are among those who have to deal with the problem at a local level.

Jodie Allard, Mini Soccer and Youth Football Development Officer at Suffolk FA said: “We are hopeful that this initiative will have a positive impact on the grassroots game, and help to eradicate issue of dog fouling on grass pitches that members of the football community unfortunately experience.

“It is important that we continue to work closely with all members of the local community to ensure people can play football in a clean and safe environment in Suffolk.’

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