A new order which penalises dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets in Dudley has just come into force.
The new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) gives Dudley Council officers the power to dish out fixed penalty notices of up to £100 for dog fouling, an increase from the previous cap of £50.
The new order also prohibits dogs in children’s play areas, with similar punishments for owners caught flouting the regulations.
A survey launched in December with residents given the chance to have their say, with overwhelming support for the introduction of the order.
Alan Lunt, strategic director for place at Dudley Council, said:
We know that dog fouling is an emotive issue for a lot of residents in the borough, many of them dog owners themselves.
The local authority has a duty to ensure that our public spaces are cleaner, greener and safe for all to enjoy.
We believe that introducing the PSPO and its tougher penalties will act as a deterrent for irresponsible dog owners caught not cleaning up after their pets.
The PSPO replaces all existing dog control legislation in the borough. It lasts for a maximum period of three years, after which it can be renewed for another three years if required.
Enforcement of dog fouling is usually by means of a fixed penalty notice. Before one can be issued, an officer must see the owner allowing the dog to foul and not clear it away afterwards.
A breach of a PSPO is an offence punishable by a fixed penalty notice and/or prosecution in the magistrate’s court. This is in line with current dog fouling enforcement in the Dudley borough. However there will be exemptions, for example a blind person in charge of a dog that is being used for guidance.