Hundreds of dog fouling complaints made in Doncaster – as councillor calls for more action to tackle messy business

The Free Press can today reveal Doncaster's dog-fouling hot spots – after more than 700 complaints were made about the messy business in a year.

Figures revealed Doncaster Council received the most complaints about dog mess in the S64 area – which includes Mexborough – in 2018 with 121 complaints.

Some dog owners do not clear up after their dogs.

Some dog owners do not clear up after their dogs.

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DN1 including the town centre was next with 106 complaints, followed by DN3 – including Armthorpe, Barnby Dun and Edenthorpe - with 96 reports.

Mexborough councillor Sean Gibbons said ward members in the town are “continually contacted with complaints from local residents regarding this anti-social behaviour and environmental issue.”

He added: “We are therefore not surprised to hear that the S64 area which covers Mexborough has received the highest number of reported incidents to Doncaster Council in 2018.

“Dog owners be warned that if you fail to pick up after their dog - or fail to give evidence that they are carrying dog poo bags - then they will receive an on the spot fine.

Councillor Chris McGuinness.

Councillor Chris McGuinness.

“Be a responsible dog owner and pick up their mess. The dog can't do it.”

He called for more signs warning owners about the consequences of not picking up their dog's mess – and said councillors will be carrying out their own patrols of known hotspots soon.

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The figures, revealed through a Freedom of Information request, showed the authority received 721 dog fouling complaints in 2018.

Councillor Sean Gibbons.

Councillor Sean Gibbons.

This was a marked reduction when compared with the financial year of 2016/17, in which there were 1174 reported incidents.

The council put this reduction down to the introduction of public space protection orders, in which dogs are banned from entering about 100 public spaces in the town.

This includes fenced off children's play areas in places such as Sandall Park, Elmfield Park and Askern Boating Lake.

Council wardens also regularly patrol known dog mess hotspots.

Those who flout the law face a fixed penalty fine of £100. There is a further penalty of up to £1000 if the initial fine is not paid.

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Councillor Chris McGuinness, cabinet member for communities, the voluntary sector and environment at Doncaster Council, said: “Dog fouling is extremely unpleasant and totally unnecessary, and we will continue to clamp down on irresponsible dog owners. Anyone caught not cleaning up after their dog will be issued a fixed penalty notice.

“The message is a simple one pick up or pay up. Dog waste bags can be bought cheaply from a supermarket of your choice and easily put in your pocket before you take your dog for walk. It’s so simple to do.

“We are committed to making Doncaster a better place to live and encourage people to report dog fouling through the council website. These reports are vital for helping us target problem areas.”

Members of the public can report dog mess issues to the authority online at http://www.doncaster.gov.uk/doitonline/dog-fouling