More fixed-penalty notices issued this year in fouling fight

Councillor and dog owner Gordon Castle is backing the Gazette's campaign about dog mess.
Councillor and dog owner Gordon Castle is backing the Gazette's campaign about dog mess.

The fight to tackle dog fouling throughout the county is being stepped up after more than 100 owners have been hit with fines since the start of the year.

Northumberland County Council says it takes a zero-tolerance approach towards people who don’t clean up after their pets.

A total of 105 owners have been given £75 fixed-penalty notices (FPN) so far this year. This compares to 81 during the whole of 2013.

Breakdown figures for 2014 show that seven owners in Alnwick have been given FPNs, while one person has received the same punishment in Amble.

Six FPNs have been issued at Druridge Bay/Hadston, as well as five at Widdrington Station, one in Alnmouth/Beadnell and none in Rothbury.

Big-hitters in the county include Blyth, with 23, and Cramlington and Ashington, both with 10. There have also been two in Berwick, four in Morpeth and nine in Newbiggin.

On top of this, two people from Cramlington and one Bedlington resident have recently been fined at Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court for not picking up after their dogs.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment, said: “Not picking up after your dog is socially unacceptable.

“The purpose of dog control orders is to allow all users of public land to have an enjoyable and safe experience.

“These prosecutions send out a clear message that the council takes this issue very seriously and we will direct our resources to take action against irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their dogs.”

Visit northumberland.gov.uk to report a dog-fouling problem.