Dog fouling targeted with plain clothes patrols

Plain clothed environmental enforcement officers will be patrolling in Plymouth from Monday 29 July.

Focussing on areas where residents have reported issues, officers will be on the lookout for those who do not pick up after their dogs.

Owners who are caught not doing the right thing will be handed a fixed penalty notice for £100, which if not paid, could end with a criminal conviction.

Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet member for Customer Focus and Community Safety, said: “I am absolutely fed up of seeing dog poo on our pavements and in our parks.

“I am constantly hearing from residents about how it’s a problem in their area and I’m pleased to be introducing a method to catch those responsible.

“When we took control of environmental enforcement, we said we’d act on intelligence and patrol in all areas of the city and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

While the patrols will primarily be on the lookout for people who don’t pick up after their dogs, they will also be keeping a close eye on dog control, ensuring that dogs are kept on leads in the required areas.

Why plain clothes?

We all hate dog poo. You’ve got to dodge it on the pavement and on paths and we’ve got to spend time and money picking it up.

Dog Mess - can you afford not to?The trouble is, when people decide they’re not going to pick up after their dogs, they tend to have a quick look around, check there’s not an enforcement officer around, and then walk on.

With plain clothes patrols, we hope to add a substantial deterrent to these type of offenders.

Why does Council bother with dog control?

There are various areas, in various green spaces in the city, where there are rules on dog control.

Some places, like fenced children’s play areas, prohibit dogs completely. Others just require dogs to be on leads.

This is because even the most responsible dog owner can lose sight of their dog when they are off the lead and not notice if they poo.

All the places where dogs can’t go, or must be on leads, have clear signs but if in doubt, you can check here.

What about littering, fly-posting and fly-tipping?

Although dog fouling and dog control will be the priority of the plain clothed teams, they will not turn a blind eye when they spot littering, fly-posting or fly-tipping and will issue FPNs.

If they’ve not got uniforms, how will we know that an officer is genuine?

Officers will carry Plymouth City Council identification and produce that at the start of any conversation with members of the public.

Where will they be?

The plain clothes patrols will be in areas where residents have told us that there are particular issues. But this is just the start.

Does your area have a particular issue with litter? Is dog control at a particular children’s play area getting you down? Then get in touch.

Click here to report it.