Public urged to grass up dog owners who don't pick up after their pet
PUBLISHED: 15:53 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:53 05 February 2020
We want you to grass up dog owners who don't pick up after their pets.
That's the message from Great Yarmouth Borough Council as they try and crack down on illegal dog fouling in the borough.
Difficulties in prosecuting owners who fail to pick up after their dogs means that Environmental Rangers say they rely heavily on "tip-offs from the public" in order to "target the offenders".
According to Great Yarmouth Borough Council's records, there were 327 dog-fouling complaints in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Caister between 2017-2019.
However, only 13 of these led to prosecutions and five to fixed penalty notices (FPNs).
Though Great Yarmouth has one of the highest rates of environmental crime prosecution in Norfolk, it is notoriously challenging for rangers to prove dog's mess was left deliberately.
Environmental committee Chairman Penny Carpenter said that "there is no excuse for dog-fouling as there are litter bins across the borough".
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But she added that rangers "cannot be everywhere at once", and have to be "in the right place at the right time to witness the incident and ID the person".
"What the rangers need to prosecute is strong evidence, and the public can help with this.
"Evidence doesn't necessarily have to be photographs - a description of the dog and person walking it, the location, date and time of the activity will also help."
"Unfortunately, dog-fouling incidents generally increase in frequency in the winter months as people use the cover of darkness to avoid picking up after their dog."
Many local residents are already helping with efforts to keep the area mess-free.
Lisa Marie Herbert, from Caister, who has three dogs herself, set up a doggy-bag dispensing station outside her shed on Great Yarmouth Road after growing frustrated with those who "don't seem to care if the area is dirty."
She said: "It's such a lovely village and I've lived here for almost 20 years, but I often find myself having to pick up dog mess left outside our gate or drive because we don't want anyone else to walk through it.
"The station isn't just for the people who normally leave the mess - it's for all dog owners. Even the best ones sometimes forget their bags."
Anyone who witnesses an environmental crime or has information which could help identify an offender should contact the Environmental Rangers on 01493 846478.