HIGH-visibility patrols are to be stepped up to catch dog owners who fall foul of the law by refusing to pick up after their pets.
The campaign by Safer Ryedale Partnership is a direct result of numerous complaints received from members of the public who are fed up with dog waste littering the district.
Now they are hoping to make irresponsible dog owners pause for thought by slapping them with £50 fines if they do not remove the waste.
The move is in response to a recent survey carried out by Safer Ryedale which saw 42 per cent of the 602 people quizzed say that dog mess is one of the issues that makes them barking mad.
The campaign aims to not only enforce the law but also change the behaviour and encourage dog owners to bag and bin their dog mess in any litter bin in the area.
Many town and parish councils have dog waste bins at key points in their area and some also have bag dispensers near the waste bins to make things easier but dog mess once bagged can also be placed in any general litter bin.
During the patrols by North Yorkshire Police and Ryedale District Council Enforcement Officers, responsible owners will be rewarded with a “Caught Doing Right” card that can be used to enter a free prize draw.
But anyone collared by the police for failing to pick up their dog’s mess offence could be hit with a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Inspector Andy Everitt, commander of Ryedale’s police force, said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour in Ryedale is not just about groups of youths gathering in public places, people littering, causing damage, drink related rowdiness in our town centres or the anti-social use of motor vehicles.
“Dog fouling is also an anti-social act that has an impact on the quality of people’s lives. Each of these scenarios places responsibility on the individual to manage themselves and their environment and legislation exists for that reason.
“I welcome this initiative by Safer Ryedale partnership to tackle one of the primary quality of life issues that Ryedale residents have identified.
“Many dog owners in Ryedale are extremely diligent in picking up their dog mess, the clear community message is that it is time for all dog owners to step up to the mark. Ryedale Police and Ryedale District Council take a positive approach in dealing with dog fouling, however, we need assistance from the community to identify owners who persistently allow their dogs to foul on our streets.”
In addition to the campaign, Ryedale District Council has spray painted warning signs on pavements and footpaths to remind owners to pick up their dog waste. Posters are also being displayed in local libraries and community venues, and information sent to local authorities.
Steve Richmond, Health & Environment Manager at Ryedale District Council, added: “Dog Fouling has been highlighted as of significant concern to residents. Irresponsible dog owners that don’t pick up after their dogs will be fined or prosecuted. The public are fed up of such anti-social behaviour.”
To report a dog fouling offence contact Ryedale District Council on (01653) 600666 ext 208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org