Drop in fines for littering and dog mess due to fewer incidents, says council

The number of fines for flytipping has dropped.
The number of fines for flytipping has dropped.

Environmental wardens in the Kingdom are handing out almost 70 per cent cent fewer fines for dog fouling than they were five years ago.

Overall, the number of fines issued by council staff has slumped for violations such as dog mess, fly tipping, and littering.

However, Fife Council says that the reduction in the number of fines handed out is due to “campaigns, education, and increased preventative patrols”.

The findings, according to a Freedom of Information request to Fife Council, show that the number of fines dished out for dog fouling has dropped considerably in the last six years, decreasing every year since 2012, when 60 tickets were issued.

READ MORE: Dog mess: is it really just a tiny minority of bad owners?

Last year saw less than half that figure, with just 29 fines given out across the Kingdom, and this year’s figure up until the end of September is only 19.

There was also a drastic drop in the number of fines for flytipping in 2016, with just 93 handed out, compared to 204 the previous year.

Mark McCall, Fife Council’s safer communities service manager, said: “We have a safer communities team who deal with various issues including antisocial behaviour, litter, illegal dumping and dog fouling.

“They have powers to put environmental legislation into effect and issue fixed penalty notices where appropriate.

“Many of these issues are observable offences which need to be witnessed – circumstantial evidence is not enough to take enforcement action.

“For these issues our focus is on public awareness and prevention which can effect a change in behaviours over time and make these activities socially unacceptable.

“We continue to work with colleagues across the council on different campaigns, such as Just Bin It.”

Catching culprits for littering and dog fouling has often been a problem as wardens must witness it happening.

The council says that circumstantial evidence is not enough to take enforcement action.

“Littering and dog fouling is a problem in Fife as it is across the country and it costs Fife Council a considerable amount to deal with but we will continue to pursue those responsible,” continued Mark.

“People who litter can receive an £80 fixed penalty notice.

“Illegal dumping can be the subject of a fixed penalty fine of £200 but more serious cases will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.”