Just one fine issued for dog fouling despite powers of Norfolk councils
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
Powers to fine people for anti-social behaviour, such as street drinking, revving car engines or not cleaning up after dogs have led to just one penalty notice in Norfolk since they were introduced.
But councils have defended the creation of public spaces protection orders, even though a Freedom of Information request revealed they have led to a single £60 fine for a dog walker who failed to clean up after their pet.
The orders apply to geographical areas and all of Norfolk's district councils have defined areas where activities must not take place, although it varies from council to council.
For instance, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has three. One, banning anti-social street drinking has been in place since 2016, although no fines have been issued.
Dog control measures have been in place since 2017, which prompted the only fine - for dog fouling.
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The third, covering parts of the seafront and Newtown, aimed to prevent anti-social behaviour in vehicles, such as revving engines and playing music.
While no fines have been issued, the order was recently used by Norfolk police to warn a motorcycle rider spotted doing a wheelie in St Nicholas Car Park that his bike will be seized if he is found driving inconsiderately or carelessly in the next year.
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While orders have not led to fines elsewhere, councils said they still served an important purpose.
In Norwich, the council looked to introduce an order to prevent skateboarders damaging the city's war memorial, but ditched that amid controversy.
The city does have orders covering dog fouling and street drinking.
A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said: "We have not given any fixed penalty notices for dog fouling in Norwich since the public space protect order was introduced.
"It seems there has been a natural culture change and more people are picking up after their dogs and using dog waste bins or taking it home to dispose of it.
"We can evidence this from low numbers of reported dog fouling complaints and issues raised in neighbourhood surveys."
And a South Norfolk Council spokesman said, although no fines had been issued, having the power to do so was a useful tool.
In Suffolk, East Suffolk council has issued 22 fines since 2016.