Bognor Regis councillor declares war on dog mess

Tough action has been demanded against dog owners whose pets foul pavements around Bognor Regis.

Councillor Francis Oppler said the resulting mess damaged the town’s image and its residents’ health.

“It’s about time Arun District Council declared war on dog owners who allow their pets to foul pavements,” he said.

“It’s becoming an increasingly serious problem.”

The Lib Dem councillor for Orhcard ward called for strong action, adding: “We have to take one person after another after another to court to make sure this message gets through.”

His call at the latest meeting of the Joint Western Arun Area Committee for the matter to be placed on a future agenda was agreed by its fellow members.

Kevin Basford, the council’s head of environment, said the council would prosecute if it was given specific and reliable evidence of dog fouling taking place in public and not being picked up.

Court action would also be taken after a council officer had witnessed dog fouling occurring.

But the council’s financial cutbacks had reduced the number of dog wardens to less than one full-time employee.

Police community support officers had been given the power by the Chief Constable of Sussex to enforce dog-fouling laws.

But the police lacked the administrative set-up to process the paperwork once the offender had been tackled on the streets.

To read the full story, see this week’s Bognor Regis Observer, out now, (Thursday, June 7, edition).