Dog fouling patrols will be back in the next two years

ENFORCEMENT patrols against thoughtless dog owners around Bognor Regis are to continue for the next two summers.

The uniformed wardens will be brought back between June and September, 2014, and the following year.

This follows the success of the pilot scheme this summer.

Backing to spend £20,000 each year on the patrols was given by Arun District Council’s cabinet on Monday.

Cllr Paul Dendle, Arun’s environmental services cabinet member, said: “I’m very pleased with the way the pilot has gone. We have spent £20,000 on it and has brought about a real reduction in dog fouling.

“It’s something this council has had trouble enforcing in the past because of a lack of resources, I’d very much like to see the pilot repeated. I would like to see it all year round but, obviously, resources are limited.”

As reported, the initial patrols were introduced across the district in response to councillors’ concerns about complaints by residents over dog fouling.

They hired two environmental enforcement officers from Kingdom Security to tackle dog fouling, litter and dog control offences for 16 weeks from June 3.

Patrols ranged from 6.30am-8pm throughout the week and averaged 80 officer hours weekly.

The patrols were targeted at about 45 problem open spaces.

Waterloo Square, Steyne Gardens and the Sunken Gardens in Bognor town centre were found to have 79 piles of dog faeces before the patrols began.

This slumped dramatically to 15 at the end, after having been reduced to just one at the halfway stage.

A similar picture was seen at two other sites in Climping and Littlehampton to mean the number of piles was cut by 80 per cent from 166 to 33.

Three fixed penalty notices were issued for failing to clear up after a dog. A further two were issued to owners who failed to obey a dog exclusion/dog on lead zones, in Felpham.

A report by Oliver Handson, the council’s greenspace contract and development manager, to councillors earlier this month said at least 95 per cent of the dog owners approached during the patrols responded positively to them.

“It is clear that it is only a small minority of individuals who are failing to act responsibly and abide by the rules,” he stated.

Some future patrols should be at night, he said, to catch fouling which occurred in the dark. Sussex Police had also agreed to PCSOs issuing fixed penalty notices for dog fouling to provide a further help on the matter.