Enforcement campaign for dog fouling and litter
The Community Safety Team has been out in force recently, raising awareness of blights in our communities of dog fouling and litter.
The team has run high-profile campaigns in Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Wigtown, Whithorn and the Isle of Whithorn, with others to follow when operational requirements allow.
Free bio-degradable dog bags along with a copy of a leaflet containing the main points of the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 were handed out to dog owners. It places responsibility on dog owners to clean up after their dog and properly dispose of the mess.
If an offence is committed in a public area, authorised officer will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for £40. Conviction for no payment of the penalty could result in a fine of £500.
Littering and fly tipping are another concern in all communities of Dumfries & Galloway. Whilst most are aware if they drop litter they commit an offence, many smokers are unaware that a cigarette end is classified as litter.
During the National Litter Campaign in June this year, it was found that the vast majority of littering tickets were issued to smokers for discarding cigarette butts.
During the campaign days, portable ashtrays known as “stubbies” were given out to smokers. These fireproof pouches are used for cigarette ends to be placed in and emptied into a bin when one is available.
It is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to throw down, drop or otherwise dispose of litter. A Fixed Penalty Notice of £50 will be issued to offenders. The Scottish Government has proposed to raise this to £80 in April 2014. Conviction in court for non-payment could result in a fine of £2,500.
Fly tipping is disposing of rubbish or waste onto land without permission or licence to accept it. At present the Fixed Penalty Notice is £50, although the Scottish Government intends to raise this to £200 from April 2014.
Conviction in court for non-payment could result in a fine of £40,000 and/or a six-month prison sentence.
Community Safety Officer Gordon McKeand said; “This campaign has helped raise awareness of these issues once again, but also has given us valuable pointers to hotspot areas and alleged offenders, which we are following up at present. As an authorised officer I will issue fixed penalty notices for any environmental offences witnessed by me. Hopefully this campaign will have helped educate members of the public about environmental offences.
Senior Community Safety Officer Diane McColm added; “My officers will deal with environmental offences rigorously, and during these dark mornings and evenings, it becomes far more difficult for authorised officers to detect offences such as littering and dog fouling. I would appeal to members of the public to pass on all information about alleged offenders, and we will deal with them appropriately.”