Worcester City Council has adopted tougher powers to tackle dog fouling on pavements, in parks and in other open spaces.
The move follows a public consultation, in which 75% of respondents supported the new proposals and 90% backed the fining of people who did not clean up after their pets.
The scale of public concern about dog fouling in Worcester is also supported by the number of reports to the popular PooWatch web app. More than 4,300 have been received since it was launched in November 2015 - an average of 181 reports a month.
The Council will now introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) across the whole of Worcester, requiring any person in charge of a dog to immediately remove the animal’s faeces. Dogs will not be permitted in Astwood and St. John’s cemeteries, and must be kept on a lead at all times in Gheluvelt Park.
The order will also limit to four the number of dogs which can be walked in a public place in Worcester by any one person.
Any person found by council officers to be in breach of the PSPO requirements would be guilty of a criminal offence under Section 67(1) of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. They could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £75 or, if prosecuted at a magistrate’s court, could face a maximum payment of £1,000.
Councillor Joy Squires, Chair of the City Council’s Environment Committee, says: “We know that clean streets are one of the top priorities for residents and visitors to Worcester.
“Although the majority of dog owners are responsible, it is clear that a number still view clearing up after their dog as optional. These new measures mean the council can now take tougher action against offenders – our officers can now issue on-the-spot fines.”