This article was published on December 1, 2016 and information contained within may now be out of date.
Dog owners in Boston have been warned they could face a fine of £100 if they aren’t carrying a plastic bag to clean up after their pet.
The borough council has already introduced new legislation – but no one caught breaking the rules will be fined until February 1.
And the authority says it has plenty of free dog poo bags available from it’s offices or in the town’s Central Park.
Councillor Michael Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for waste services, said: “It is encouraging to note that more people are using our free dog poo bags, and we will do our best to have plenty available. But being in possession of a bag is the responsibility of the dog walker.
“Any failure to clean up because a free council bag was not available will not be accepted as an excuse for not picking up.
“The only people this control will affect are the irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up or have consideration for others.”
The council stressed dog poo bags are not expensive and are available from shops as well as from the council offices.
Mary Redfern, who walks her dog around the park most days, said: “It is about time something was done about this. It isn’t fair on people who clear up after their dogs only to tread in someone else’s dog muck a few yards up the road. It horrid to look at and dangerous for children that may come into contact with it.”
From February 1 those walking dogs could face a £100 fine if they cannot demonstrate their intention to clean up after their pet. If challenged they will have to produce a bag to show they are equipped to pick up.
Signs are going up in public areas to give notice of the new rules – doubling of fines from £50 to £100 for failing to clean up after a dog, if a dog walker cannot show that they have with them the means to clean up, allowing a dog into an enclosed children’s play area or refusing to put a dangerous or nuisance dog on a lead.
The new powers to control dogs are being 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.
Dog poo bags are available for free from Boston Borough Council’s Municipal Buildings office and a dispenser in Central Park. They are also available from parish councils and from some village locations, such as shops.