Dog fouling prompts just two penalty notices in north Norfolk in the past two years

A sign on Cromer Promenade asking dog owners to clean up after their pets. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

A sign on Cromer Promenade asking dog owners to clean up after their pets. Picture: STUART ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk District Council failed to issue a single penalty notice for dog fouling in 2018, and only two were issued in 2017.

But a spokesman said the authority was committed to tackling the issue, and even has a #NoMessing campaign to combat dog mess.

The spokesman said: 'North Norfolk District Council takes the issue of dog fouling seriously and has employed environmental protection rangers who work with the public to ensure there is a good understanding of how to report incidents.

'We also work on identifying hotspots for dog fouling across north Norfolk as part of the council's #NoMessing campaign.'

It comes just days after reports of an unauthorised sign threatening to spit-roast pets whose owners did not clean up after them was seen in Overstrand, an indication of the public's frustration with the issue.

The controversial dog mess poster in Overstrand. Picture: submitted

The controversial dog mess poster in Overstrand. Picture: submitted

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Some authorities are taking innovative approaches to dog fouling. Barking and Dagenham council in London, for example, introduced DNA testing for dogs to identify owners who failed to clear up mess in parks.

But the NNDC spokesman said this would be 'impractical' in the district.

MORE: Which north Norfolk town has had twice as many dog fouling reports as any other?

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The spokesman said: 'The scheme is operated by restricting the use of areas only to those who are on a voluntary database.

'Many of the main hotspots for dog fouling in the district, such as coastal promenades, are open areas with multiple entry and exit points that would prove very costly to staff effectively.

'Most of these areas are also tourist hotspots, which would mean most visitors would be excluded from the areas because they would be unlikely to have pre-registered prior to their visit.'

Between 2014 and mid-December 2018, most dog fouling incidents were reported to the council in Cromer (153), Fakenham (74), North Walsham (70) and Holt (37).

To mid-December in 2018, there were 161 dog fouling incidents reported to the council, down from 170 in the whole of 2017.

Of the two notices issued in 2017, one was for £60 as it was paid within 10 days and the other, was £80 as it was paid later.

The controversial sign, which has since been removed, caused a stir in Overstrand, with one resident saying: 'This poster is wrong and made me very upset and I have a son who is scared to walk his dog in case they do this to his dog. I don't think it's a good thing for the village to have on display.'

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