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East Suffolk Council has handed out the most fines for dog fouling in the last five years



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The number of fines handed out by Suffolk councils to people who fail to clear up after their dog has been revealed - with one council making up 75 per cent of all penalties.

Just 35 fines have been distributed for dog fouling offences across the county since 2017.

Only one person has been penalised for the offence in Babergh and Mid Suffolk in recent years, with the last fine handed out in the year between 2019 and 2020.

Just 35 fines have been handed out to people who fail to clear up after their do
Just 35 fines have been handed out to people who fail to clear up after their do

Just five people have been fined by West Suffolk Council for failing to clear up after their dog, while only three fines were distributed in Ipswich, including one in the year up to March 2022.

East Suffolk Council has handed out the most fines, with 26 penalties given for dog fouling over the last five years.

It comes after Suffolk News spoke to Bury St Edmunds resident Jemma Noakes earlier this year.

The 46-year-old took it upon herself to clear more than 150 dog waste bags from woodland near to the Mildenhall Road estate, and even created signs to call on culprits to think of others.

At the time, she said: "Just take it home because someone has to clean it up and if you've got the responsibility of a dog, that's just part and parcel of it.

"It can't be very hygienic especially for the younger children who are closer to the ground."

A spokesperson for West Suffolk Council said the majority of the measures they take against people who don't clear up after their dogs don't tend to be formal fines.

"Most of our actions are informal warning letters as we generally have insufficient evidence such as a witness willing to make a statement and attend court if needed," they said.

"Residents often only report where the dog fouling is, rather than giving a date, time, name and address of the dog owner (if known), a description of the dog and owner, vehicle registration number, and any other identifying details that could lead to a successful prosecution."

They added that of the two fixed penalty notices they issued in 2020, one was paid and the other was not. The one that was not paid resulted in a successful prosecution in January 2021.

One council made up 75 per cent of all the fines handed out in the last five years
One council made up 75 per cent of all the fines handed out in the last five years

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council said: “We share the frustration and anger caused by an inconsiderate minority of dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets.

"We are lucky to have many miles of beautiful rural walks across our districts for visitors, residents, and their canine companions, but these would obviously be too costly to taxpayers to monitor constantly.

“Instead, we call on dog owners to act responsibility and urge anyone seeing an offence being committed to report dog fouling on our website. We will not hesitate to act on reliable evidence.

“In the meantime, we continue to focus our efforts on working together with our town and parish councils to encourage responsible dog ownership through the installation and maintenance of dog bins across our districts.”