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Stafford council offer rewards for reporting dog fouling

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 13/12/2013   Category: Latest News

There have been several reports in Britain of how councils are urging dog owners to pick up after their dogs and have come up with many different ways of ensuring this happens. Now Stafford Borough Council has decided to join in and offer rewards to people.
People who report dog owners that clearly do not pick up after their dog are now being offered reward of up to £75 if a fine is issue to the dog owner by the council wardens.

The council has decided on this approach after only issuing six fines for dog fouling in the last year when it is clear more people are doing this. The council already employ people to patrol the problem areas however they understand they cannot catch everyone in the act so have decided to give people an incentive to report others, gaining money for themselves and helping keep the area clean whilst hopeful ensuring the culprits would learn their lesson.

Will Conaghan from the council ensures this is not just simple bribery, “People in the past have rung in with information about this. What we’re saying is we need more information and we’re giving people an incentive to do that. At Stafford Borough we have limited resources and this has proved a difficult [offence] for us to stamp out.”
The UK dog population has been estimated to be approximately 8million, and the dogs produce approximately 1,000 tonnes of excrement daily if left by owners.

The group ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ have calculated the current cost of cleaning up dog fouling across the UK is approximately £22m per year and with the economy in its current state its an issue that the councils could do with reducing.
However not everyone agrees that this is the best way to help this problem. Nick Pickles from civil liberty group Big Brother Watch said: “This scheme risks becoming paying people to snoop. My real worry is that the council need evidence to enforce fines so you could get an absurd situation where people are using cameras to take pictures of their neighbours walking their dogs.”

This scheme has been proven to be successful in other areas and Stafford Borough Council is hoping for a positive result over the next few weeks.