Get into the poo bag habit and avoid a £100 fine
Dog walkers appear to be getting the poo bag message. The first batch of pet owners approached by Boston Borough Council's enforcement officers were all able to show that they were equipped to clean up after their dogs and fully aware of their responsibilities.
A simple flourish of a plastic bag saved them from receiving a £100 fixed penalty notice.
The council has received messages of support since launching the new penalty on Monday (February 1) and messages from dog owners declaring how they properly equip themselves before going out with their pets.
Simon Kenny was walking his dogs, Buster and Russell, in Central Park and was pleased to show that he was equipped with poo bags. He was carrying extras... just in case.
Jane Champion had Milly on her lead, and wearing her coat outside the B&M store. She said she has always "picked up" and was happy to produce her bags.
Liana Trauberga was giving Rocky a walk in Central Park. She was fully aware of her responsibility as a dog owner.
Fines for failing to clean up after a dog, allowing a dog into an enclosed children's play area or refusing to put a dangerous or nuisance dog on a lead have been doubled to £100.
The new powers have been introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 which allows councils to create a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).
Public consultation showed that 90 per cent were in favour of it being an offence for dog walkers not to carry a bag or the means at all times to clean up after their dog. And 74 per cent agreed the fine should be £100.
Enforcement officers have followed up on complaints about dog mess on a main pedestrian route to Boston schools.
Dog walkers had failed to pick up on a route used by children to go to the John Fielding Community Special School, St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School and Tower Road Academy.
The complaints were made prior to the introduction of the new powers and the increased fines and the areas will now receive extra attention from enforcement officers.
Cllr Michael Brookes, the council's Cabinet member with responsibility for waste services, said: "There has been a three-month information and education period since the council agreed the new powers so that everyone could be aware of the new rules and increased penalties.
"We will be increasing patrols and they will be at different times, as we know many dog walkers go out early in the morning and later in the evening. We have also compiled a list of hot spots to be tackled first.
"If you want to avoid a £100 fine it's easy - do the right thing and clean up after your dog."
Top left: Jane with Milly - good dog and good dog owner. No £100 fine here. Top right: Liana with Rocky - always cleans up.
Bottom: Shamed: You know who you are! Dog mess outside John Fielding and St Mary's schools. Sprayed with fluorescent pink chalk to shame the regular dog walkers who do not clean up after their pets.
Centre: Russell and Buster - owner Simon Kenny had a more than adequate supply of dog poo bags.