Dog foulers need education

CARNOUSTIE Community Council is concerned that figures released concerning fines issued for dropping litter or failing to pick up dog mess in the county of Angus may give the impression that no real problem exists.

The figures reveal that six on-the-spot fines of £50 for dropping litter were issued last year - two more than 2009. In 2008, 21 fines were imposed.

And eight fixed penalty fines were issued in 2010 for allowing a dog to foul in a public place and not picking up the mess.

This compares with three in 2009 and nine the year before that.

Council chairman Jim Simpson told the Guide & Gazette that he has sympathy for the wardens who have the task of imposing the fines, because of the slim chance of being present when, for example, a dog-fouling offence takes place.

He said: “People have to be caught in the act, and with the very small number of wardens on the street - and the unlikelihood of more being employed during this time of financial cutbacks - the path we have to follow is educating the public not to commit offences.”

The community council has already run a campaign to this effect, and Mr Simpson believes that this type of initiative must continue.

He said: “There’s a new dog-walking group in Carnoustie [see story and picture on front page] and they are coming to the next community council meeting on January 31 with their ideas.”

Mr Simpson accepted that the Angus Council officers have an uphill struggle, and concluded: “We must go on raising public awareness and educating dog-walkers and people who drop litter.”