New tactics to tackle irresponsible dog owners in Howe of Fife

Sergeant Neil MacKenzie (left) with Constable Stevie Tufft and Kaiser in the Haugh Park.
Sergeant Neil MacKenzie (left) with Constable Stevie Tufft and Kaiser in the Haugh Park.
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Community police officers in Cupar and across the Howe of Fife are to take a new approach to tackling dog fouling.

The problem continues to be raised as a concern by residents and now, thanks to the new policing structure, officers are able to work with partners like Fife Council dog wardens and environmental services, to target those responsible.

Irresponsible owners are letting their dogs foul public areas and fail to clean up as necessary which, as well as being an offence, it is a health risk

PC Steven Tufft

One of the strategies will be to adapt shifts so officers in plain clothes can be deployed both early in the morning and in the evening when the majority of offences are committed.

Target areas include the shore at Newburgh and Cupar’s Duffus Park and Wetlands playing fields.

PC Steven Tufft, who has devised the local initiative, said: “As a result of engaging with the public, Howe of Fife and Cupar community police officers recognise that one of the main problems experienced by our communities is dog fouling.

“Irresponsible owners are letting their dogs foul public areas and fail to clean up as necessary which, as well as being an offence, it is a health risk and is viewed by our communities as antisocial behaviour.

Going on to explain how the officers intend to deal with the problem, he added: “We will target the problem areas in uniform and plain clothes in order to identify people who allow their dogs to defecate and fail to remove the mess appropriately.

“We will also speak to people who are seen to pick up the mess in plastic bags but then throw the bag away. If there is an issue with a lack of dog mess bins we would like to know where people would like them to be and we can take that to our partners.

“Saying you didn’t know your dog has fouled or that there isn’t a bin nearby is not an excuse.

“If we see people committing an offence we will take all their details including the breed or type of dog and this information will be passed on and used if they persist in letting their pet foul in public areas.”

He went on to say, “Whilst working in partnership with Fife Council enforcement officers and dog wardens, these people will be reported appropriately and given education regarding responsible dog ownership.

“With this robust approach it is intended to reduce the amount of dog fouling in our communities and to encourage responsible dog ownership. We are also able to issue fixed penalties to those responsible.”

Anyone who would like to express a concern about dog fouling or report persistent offending can contact PC Tufft by email Steven.Tufft@scotland.pnn.police.uk