No new laws to tackle dog fouling in Sheffield - despite complaints almost trebling

A warning sign on a lamppost in Walkley.
A warning sign on a lamppost in Walkley.

Sheffield Council is not considering introducing new laws to crackdown on dog fouling - despite complaints about the messy issue almost trebling in the last five years.

Neighbouring Doncaster and Chesterfield councils both recently introduced a Public Space Protection Order, which bans dogs from entering enclosed children's play areas in a bid to clampdown on mess blighting the area.

A poster in Parsonage Crescent, Walkley, warning dog owners they're being watched.

A poster in Parsonage Crescent, Walkley, warning dog owners they're being watched.

The Star and Telegraph recently revealed that the filthy issue prompted 1, 398 gripes to Sheffield Council in the year to April 2017, compared with 515 in 2012/13. The council last year issued 121 warning letters to people suspected to have failed to clean up after their pooches, but issued just two £50 on the spot fines.

Despite the rising issue of dog mess, the authority confirmed there are no plans to introduce a PSPO and instead highlighted a raft of other measures in which it is tackling the problem.

A spokesperson for Streets Ahead, which maintains the city's highways for the council, said: "The council currently employs two dog control officers plus many environmental enforcement officers who are able to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling.

"There are around 350 dog bins across the city and since 2012, 500 additional on-street bins have been placed by Streets Ahead.

Some dog owners do not clear up after their dogs.

Some dog owners do not clear up after their dogs.

“In conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy, the council has carried out numerous trials with dog-fouling signage across the city and has found that mobile signs, which can be moved between hot-spot areas, have a positive impact on helping to change behaviours on dog fouling."

Elsewhere, Rotherham Council has recently launched a public consultation asking residents about the possibility of a PSPO, which could be introduced in the autumn if there is enough public support.

Barnsley Council is not considering it.

Introduced in Doncaster last month, the order bans dogs from entering around 100 fenced off children's play areas. A council spokesperson said the reason for the exclusion zones is to help avoid the potentially harmful effects of dog poo, which can cause blindness in children if it gets in their eyes.

There are also new rules that mean anyone walking a dog will need to be carrying appropriate means to pick up after it, or else they could face a fine.

Dog owners must also ensure their dogs are on a lead in a number of areas, such as cemeteries and churchyards.

The same order is in place in Chesterfield in which it is now prohibited to take your dog into 28 children's play areas.