Eight staff at ABC Council issue just 19 dog fouling fines in a year

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Only 19 dog fouling fines were issued by staff in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council over the past year.

Statistics, provided to DUP Cllr Stephen Moutray, show that the council has only a handful of eligible staff to issue dog fouling and littering fines.

And he is shocked that so few fines for each offence have been issued over the past three years.

Compared to 30 dog fouling fines in the November 2015-16 year, the numbers dropped to just 19 in the November 2017-18 year.

Cllr Moutray says the Council is failing residents. “I have been shocked to learn just how inactive council has been in relation to dog fouling. I have discovered that despite having eight staff equipped to issue Fixed Penalty Notices only 19 were issued between November 2017-October 2018. With 30 and 24 in the previous years, this compares poorly with five years ago and I want to know why?

“Council must have a robust enforcement policy for those in our community who refuse to clear up after their dogs.”

“Figures like these give me no confidence that Council officers are committed to eradicating dog fouling,” said Cllr Moutray who has called for an emergency Environment Committee meeting where this issue can be ‘thrashed out’.

The figures showed an even steeper drop in fixed penalties being issued for littering - with 417 fines in the 2015-16 period compared to just 161 in the 2017-18 period.

A council spokesperson said: “Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is committed to the ongoing delivery of a wide range of actions contained within its dedicated plan to deal with the issues of dog fouling and littering.”