A GLENROTHES Councillor is calling for radical steps to be taken against people who repeatedly allow their dogs to foul in public places and has even suggested a custodial sentence for the worst repeat offenders.
Councillor Peter Grant made the remarks at last week’s Glenrothes Area Committee as councillors discussed the issue as part of the current street cleaning performance in the town.
He said the act of owners wilfully allowing it to happen was unacceptable and must be changed.
He added: “The instances of dog fouling in parts of Ward 14 are horrific and an embarrassment to those people living there.
“The results figures should not be looked upon as a measure of the service of the street cleaning teams, but as a measure of the number of people who need to be locked up.
“I was pleased to see recently following a complaint from a resident that not only have there been new dog bins installed in Ward 14 but that someone was issued with a fine because we had found out who the culprit had been.
“I would like these people being named and shamed.
“I know the fixed penalty system is supposed to avoid that but I’m like to go as far as naming and shaming and publishing names and addresses of those committing these acts and we’ll see then how long the problem remains in the local community.
“It’s an unnecessary and totally anti social way to behave.”
Councillor John Beare further highlighted the problem whereby recently an owner had allowed their dog to defecate within the grounds of a toddlers playground and added that in the past the response from the service team was “both hit and miss.”
Cllr Grant later told the Gazette: “Certainly I think it’s [jail] an option for repeat offenders.
“I understand that there is an issue with how many places dog wardens can be at any one time and I think it’s about time we started encouraging the members of the public to come forward and give a statement because very often local people know who it is
“I’ve seen an incident recently where it was obviously three or four different dogs, so it wasn’t just one owner.
“We need to change the culture of allowing your dog to foul in a public area and change the culture so that people will feel it necessary to report such actions when they see it happening.”
Damien Woods who oversees the street cleaning operation said that an increased amount of signs have been introduced and that there had been an increased amount reported incidents because of that.
But highlighted that due to budget restraints, there wasn’t enough environmental dog wardens available to follow up with fixed penalty notices to offenders or deal with the Procurator Fiscal when there was appeals.