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How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

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GuyD73
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How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby GuyD73 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:37 pm

Following up on Melanie’s recent post on another forum, which resonated with many and will hopefully result in a local man, caught on video allowing his dog to foul on Mallinson Road, being issued with a fine, I wanted to appraise you all of a chat I had with Wandsworth Council yesterday.

I found out that if evidence is provided, or the fouling is witnessed by a council warden then a penalty charge will be issued for £100 but this is reduced to £55 if paid within a fortnight. Should the council decide on a prosecution subsequently, often as a result of the fine not being paid, then the maximum fine is £500 + court costs. He said however, that many times, he’s seen judges be very lenient in their judgement because the offender is on benefits or a low income.

The head of department is not a fan of penalty charges and favours prosecution because he said a lot of people just see paying a small fine occasionally as a cost of owning a dog (and they fancy their chances of largely getting away with it).
Notwithstanding how utterly minging that attitude is, it also demonstrates that, given the slim chance of being caught and the risibly feeble penalties even if you do, it’s hardly surprising that we have the epidemic of dog poo that we do.

What I do find surprising is that this is a national matter, determined by Parliamentary legislation, that gives no power to local authorities to decide where to pitch both the penalty notice and the maximum level of fines from courts – it’s a level 4 civil penalty apparently and would require a vote in Parliament to change it. Surely this is missing a trick and individual councils should have the ability to decide these things, so that the parameters are decided with the nature of the problem in each local area in mind?

Couple of other things – Wandsworth used to have 6 wardens focused specifically on the problem of dog mess and now has only 4, also, in cases were a prosecution is brought, the person providing the evidence to the council, needs to be prepared to go to court to be the witness.

I think though, as it’s me in this case providing the video evidence to the council, it can be me that goes to court, rather than the lady whose doorbell cam footage it is, but I’ll get some clarification on this. Perhaps this has been a hindrance to bringing prosecutions in the past. The individual asked to confirm the truth of their evidence might be scared, or find it awkward to do so, in front of the perpetrator who may live very close to them. I really wouldn’t mind in the slightest, regardless of who the perpetrator was, but then I’m a 45 year old man who won’t be easily intimidated and perhaps there are other, more vulnerable, demographic groups that might be, a little, and I don’t blame them at all. I wonder what could be done to counter that? Perhaps we set up a FB group of people prepared to go to court on behalf of others? – any suggestions very welcome…

I’d be interested to hear everyone’s thoughts though on the fine levels. I think they’re pathetic and need making much, much more punchy. I think the penalty notice should be a £1,000 fine and perhaps the maximum court fine £2,500 or £5,000 plus costs, perhaps in the main reserved for repeat offenders.

There are probably lots more things to consider on the issue of trying to change this situation for the better than I’ve thought of, so if anyone works in this area of law or has experience of similar areas of legislation, I’d welcome your input.
It has got me thinking though, if we started a petition asking for greater powers for the council to combat this, and it got 20,000 signatures, and you took it to our MP Marsha de Cordova, she’d have to take it pretty seriously wouldn’t she? I guess in that case, you need to pitch the fine at a level that everyone thinks is about right for the offence, so I’d really welcome feedback on that too.

I love the idea of making the issue a project in schools, as mentioned by someone in Melanie’s thread, where children contribute designs and they’re laminated and displayed on lampposts in the neighbourhood, and it would be a great thing to get some coverage in the local press, but I’m not sure on its own, that’ll make that much of a difference. Perhaps in tandem with stiffer penalties, better enforcement and more community activism about it, we could get our streets a great deal cleaner in time though.

How many people have a doorbell cam btw? They seem to be increasingly popular and I’m wondering if there’s any mileage in setting up a fb group to try and get people to post videos of offending people more frequently, so it would become a resource to catch culprits. I also suspect that, a bit like burglary, this menace is caused by a very small number of people in each locale, whose dogs poo in the streets every day, so if we could catch half of them, it might make a huge difference.

It’s heartening that so many people feel as strongly about this as I do. I’ve lived in Wandsworth for 15 years and think we’re lucky to live in one of the finest parts of London. As far as anti-social behaviour goes, I think dog poo easily the greatest blight on our lovely neighbourhoods. Like everywhere in London we get a bit of fly-tipping, litter, drug paraphernalia etc but I think dog poo’s a much more relentlessly constant and stomach-turning problem by a country mile.

Tell you what, if I get 20 thanks on this post, I’ll do a petition and if you all share the hell out of it, I’d bet we get oodles of signatures. Gotta be worth a try hasn’t it? Who’s with me?

All and any other ideas most welcome. This just makes me so very angry every time I see it and it’s not good for one’s blood pressure or mental health frankly. Perhaps where there’s a will, there’s a way? let’s see…
windmill26
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby windmill26 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:42 pm

I am with you! Go for it,I will sign and share the petition! I am sick of it,every day is a "slalom" to avoid poo and poo bags,litter,spit...my son keep mentioning how filthy London is...shameful really! :x
snowpea
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby snowpea » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:14 am

Yes please - we are with you
GuyD73
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby GuyD73 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:11 am

Thanks for your support guys, I am just taking some advice on the working of a petition and which platform to choose, but as soon as that's done, I'll post the link here.

Out of interest what does everyone think the fines should be?

I don't think £1,000 is unreasonable for a penalty ticket, and perhaps in a repeat offenders official prosecution that could be stretched to £5,000.

I'm just trying to see if most people think that's about right....
Sabine101
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby Sabine101 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:20 pm

How about the DNA registration scheme that they piloted in Barking. See link here.
I am also fed up with disgusting dog owners!

https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/residents/pests ... /overview/
Vicky11
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby Vicky11 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:57 pm

We are with you too
Dog owners should really own up
windmill26
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby windmill26 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:27 pm

Minimum fine £1000 plus a compulsive DNA registration scheme.If caught and can't pay then community service picking up litter,poo,poo bags sounds acceptable to me!
Just_T
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby Just_T » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:21 am

I completely agree and I’m a dog walker!! I have been sworn at for “letting people know” that they’ve missed picking up their dog’s poo. It’s a horrendous problem and yes, I assume it’s because they know they can get away with it. How they themselves desire to walk on streets with dog poo everywhere I will never understand and I spend a lot of time hoping they step in it themselves as many times as the rest of us do!
AmeliaSYCH
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby AmeliaSYCH » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:08 am

THANK YOU for addressing this and taking this seriously. Agree the small fine isn’t enough to put people off - £1000 is more like it. In full support. It’s disgusting, people who can’t pick up after their dogs don’t deserve to have dogs. Even a “three strikes and you’re out” penalty may be effective - if you get caught three times you lose your dog. Most people aren’t but there are enough selfish dog owners out there making this a public problem.
addled
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby addled » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:14 am

As a responsible dog owner i agree with you to a point, it annoys me intensely since it tars all dog owners but its hardly the epidemic you make it out to be.

I'd also be happier if humans didnt **** in the streets. Soiled nappies and deliberate defecating (particularly on Clapham common) are a very, very common occurrence for which there is no excuse. Ironically its the dogs that clear this vile mess up.
Just_T
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby Just_T » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:35 am

Yes my own dog has ‘cleared up’ human excrement in Clapham Common only for me to have to clean it up from her during a later walk. Literally nothing more revolting. I agree that is a foul problem but there is FAR more dog crap than human/nappies. Besides, the streets are actually cleaned of that sort of thing but not of dog doo. It’s def a problem of people hoping not to get caught b/c you see more of it on quieter streets than, say, Northcote Rd.
Moo moo 2
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby Moo moo 2 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:50 am

Thanks so much for bringing this matter to everyone’s attention. Dog mess on our streets is so unnecessary and causes no end of problems, especially when children have made unwanted contact with the disgusting mess. I’d be delighted to lend my support to your cause!
janee
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby janee » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:28 am

One thing which would really help is greater accessibility to bins: both rubbish and dog mess. The open space opposite my house had neither and it took about 10 years to get the council to put both in. The difference is enormous. (I did also put some bags on trees to start with, but don't need to now. Although there is some rubbish, it is nothing like an area nearby which has no bins.

Initially, when I contacted the Council I was told that WBC wanted to encourage people to take their waste home with them - well, clearly 'people' don't, even though many do. Personally, I would prefer people to leave the dog mess, than to pick it up in a plastic bag and then to drop the bag (along the Wandle someone even hangs the bags on trees!). At least the dog mess gets washed away and nature takes its course.
NJTA
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby NJTA » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:52 am

Dear Guy73,

My wife forwarded me your post because she knows how frustrated I am about the topic!

I have already written to our MP about this issue but I haven't heard back as yet so I am 100% behind this cause and I am also happy to go to court if someone else doesn't feel comfortable doing so. I love dogs, although I don't own one, but I regularly pick up and clear away other peoples dog poo up from outside my house because I don't want the smell, I don't want my children to walk in it and I don't want to walk in it either.

I live in a relatively recently renovated property and as well as poo along the pavement dog owners have allowed their dog(s) to urinate against my front step. I simply don't understand the mentality of anyone who allows their dog to urinate on someone's front step or who doesn't pick up their dog poo.

I had no idea there were council 'dog wardens' but I would like to empower them to be free to approach dog owners and check they are carrying poo bags. As well as this I think dog owners should carry water because sometimes just picking up the poo isn't enough it requires washing away as well.

I understand your thinking behind £100 not being enough but I think talking about £1000, £2500 or even £5,000 is somewhat hopeful. I think a £500 should serve as enough of a deterrent providing it is backed up by increased public awareness and a campaign to expose those responsible.

I think a FB page is a great idea. I think getting a school involved and making the children more aware and getting them to design a sign is also a great idea and I think we could even give a prize to the winning design which might generate more interest and awareness.

There is a weekly email which gets sent out to Wandsworth residents who subscriber to it and it's actually quite interesting so if we can't get the local press involved we should be able to get on the distribution of that at least.

I have a doorbell cam but I don't have it set for motion it's activated when the bell is rung but I can easily switch that to motion so I'll get that sorted in the hope of catching someone!

I'm happy to pledge some time and help to the cause.
asouth
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Re: How can we fix the disgusting problem we have with dog poo EVERYWHERE?

Postby asouth » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:30 am

Hi there - I absolutely agree that there is a serious dog poo issue in our area and would love to sign a petition.
Well done!