Boston Borough Council: Fine considered for unprepared dog walkers

Dog in park Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Under the new rules, Boston Borough Council could fine people caught without 'poop bags'

A council is considering issuing penalties to dog walkers caught without the means to clean-up after their pets.

Boston Borough Council is looking to introduce a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which will make it easier to take enforcement action.

It said current legislation is obsolete and restricts its ability to deal with irresponsible owners.

Under the order, the council will have powers to fine people caught not carrying 'poop bags'.

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'Responsible behaviour'

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The authority says it already provides free poop bags in a bid to tackle the problem of mess

The authority currently enforces dog fouling under The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

It is currently unable to provide any figures as to how many people have received a penalty since its introduction in 2014.

The act allows environmental enforcement officers and PCSOs to issue a fixed penalty notice of £50 to a person who they witness failing to remove their dog waste.

George Bernard, head of operations, said the new legislation would allow the council to take action against owners without witnessing an offence.

He said with a PSPO "any authorised officer or PCSO can approach anyone walking their dog and ensure they've got the means to pick up."

"Clearly, it's impossible to enforce behaviour across such a large area, but we are trying to encourage people to behave responsibly," he added.

If approved, the measures, which also include raising fines from £50 to £100, could be introduced in February.

The controls will not apply to assistance dogs or people who lack the physical ability to comply with the requirements.

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