Council crackdown on dog fouling in Wirral townWIRRAL Council has launched a campaign to reduce dog fouling at Moreton Cross and the surrounding area.
Residents asked for the problem to be tackled via the Leasowe, Moreton and Saughall Massie area forum, which is a council-led community partnership.
And Cllr Gill Gardiner, cabinet member for the environment, welcomed the added patrols in the area to encourage owners to clear up after their pets.
Cllr Gardiner said: "Residents are clearly angry about increasing levels of dog fouling in the area, and we have responded by arranging for extra patrols to focus on problem areas.
"Dog fouling is affecting communities across Wirral and more and more residents are becoming concerned that their neighbourhoods are being spoilt by the mess.
"Despite the fact that many people do act responsibly and contrary to numerous appeals by the council, a number of dog owners still refuse to clean up after their pets, even when they foul outside primary schools and homes. We hope the action we are taking will send a clear message that we take the problem seriously."
Earlier this year, Wirral Council launched a new enforcement team – part of Wirral Community Patrol - to tackle dog fouling and litter across the borough.
Offenders face either prosecution through the courts or a £50
fixed penalty notice, which must be paid within 14 days.
If it is not paid and the individual is found guilty by the court, they could be fined up to £1000
and end up with a criminal record.
The approach on Wirral is now changing and moving towards a more "enforcement-led approach".
Cllr Gardiner added: "We now have a dedicated Dog Fouling Team, 25 Community Patrol Officers, Rangers Service, and Animal Welfare Officers who are all trained to educate the public and enforce the legislation. In addition, there are also 70 police community support officers.
"It is the duty of every dog owner to clean up after their pet. Bags of dog dirt should be disposed of correctly in a litter bin or, suitably wrapped, in domestic refuse bins."Dumping the bag in a hedge or elsewhere is littering and carries a penalty of £70. There are no excuses, it is unacceptable and it is unfair that the whole community should suffer the consequences."
The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 currently applies to the whole of the Wirral. This means that, by law, dog excrement must be removed straight away from land that has public access, whether or not warning signs are displayed.
If people have any information about offenders, want to highlight a problem area, or need to report vandalism of litter bins, they are urged to contact the Streetscene call centre on 0151 606 2004.For further information about area forums, visit www.wirral.gov.uk or call 0151 691 8391.