South Scotland

Private contractor to tackle dog fouling in the Borders

Dog fouling bin Image copyright Thinkstock

A private contractor could be appointed by Scottish Borders Council to tackle dog fouling in the region.

As part of the 12-month pilot, the company would employ two enforcement officers to target problem areas.

Income from fixed penalties, as well as existing council budgets, would pay for the scheme, according to local authority officers.

The plans were drawn up as reports of dog fouling in the region increased by 16% in 12 months.

People who fail to clean up after their dogs can be issued with a fixed penalty fine of £40.

From 1 April, it will be brought into line with other littering offences and it will rise to £80, or £100 if it is not paid within 28 days.

However, since Scottish Borders Council withdrew their warden service in March 2013, only police and designated council officers can enforce the fines.

Under the proposed scheme, the external contractor's staff would be recruited locally and work from council offices.

As well as enforcing fines for dog fouling, littering and fly-tipping, they would work with schools to educate youngsters about related issues.

Councillor David Paterson said: "During the extensive research carried out by council officers, it has become clear that in order for dog fouling to be tackled properly, a strategy around the wider issue of dog ownership is needed.

"Like many councillors, I know dog fouling is a major concern for members of the public and in the last year I have asked officers to consider a more robust way to combat the issue."

Councillors will be asked to support the proposals at a meeting on 25 February.

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