Council raises £4,000 in fines in crackdown
PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 February 2012
»Newham Council has raised more than £4,000 in fines since introducing dog control orders in the middle of last year.
Eighty two fixed penalty notices (FPNs) have been issued since the scheme was first enforced in May 2011. It was brought in to tackle problems caused by irresponsible dog owners.
All dogs are now required to be on a lead on all public highways. Dog owners found to breach the orders are at risk of a maximum £80 penalty.
A further refusal to pay could lead to criminal proceedings and a fine of £1,000.
The busiest period for enforcement officers came in the month after the orders were introduced.
In June, 28 FPNs were issued – just seven short of the total amount dished out from July to November. None were handed out in October.
A council spokesman said the number of dog fouling complaints have reduced by a third since the orders came in. One quarter of the FPNS were issued to owners for failing to remove their dogs’ mess from the pavements.
A consultation carried out last autumn into the possibility of extending the orders gathered 169 responses, with 83 per cent of those who took part in favour.
But the scheme ran into trouble last year over how it has been publicised.
Pensioner Sheila Gilbert was handed a FPN when she was spotted walking her nine-year-old Jack Russell, Meg, in North Woolwich.
But it was revoked after the 72-year-old complained she had no idea the law existed. Mrs Gilbert was told she should have checked the council’s website or paid attention to the Newham Mag, the authority’s magazine.
She attracted the support of Age UK Newham in her fight against the fine. The charity has since pinned up notices about the dog control orders in its offices.
The spokesman added: “An overwhelming majority of our residents back our stance about dog control orders.
“This is part of the robust enforcement action we are proactively taking which is bringing cleaner, safer streets to the borough.”
“A proposal will be made at cabinet in early 2012 for a decision on whether to extend the current orders.”
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