Paw and order: It's time to collar the dog mess culprits

The Whitby Gazette is calling for action.
The Whitby Gazette is calling for action.

The Whitby Gazette is backing calls for action to halt the appalling state of dog fouling in many key locations around town.

Residents and visitors have been left furious after mess appeared on busy streets, including the pavement on the Swing Bridge – one of the the most walked routes in town.

Whitby people are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of action.

Readers have been in touch telling us about how the issue is affecting residents all over town.

Dan Locker said: “The whole town is an absolute disgrace, it’s filthy! If you can’t pick it up don’t own a dog, it really is that simple.”

Liz Allan added: “The area around Drake Close, including the snicket and Pembroke Way is in an appalling state.

“Local people letting their dogs foul everywhere because they can’t be bothered to pick it up.”

Another area of particular concern is the former railway line, the Cinder Track, where walkers say they have spotted as many as 20 bags filled with dog mess hanging from trees and other objects.

Charlotte Angus, who is involved in litter picks and beach cleans, said: “I’ve just litter picked between Hawsker and Stainsacre on the Cinder Track and the amount of dog mess and abandoned bags is unreal.

“There were 20 bags near Stainsacre bridge alone. The problem could be there is only one bin between the Viaduct and Hawsker.”

Chris Green was involved in a beach clean between Whitby and Sandsend, where he said volunteers found “lots of dog mess and even abandoned bags of the foul stuff”.

Those prosecuted for the offence are now being warned they face hefty fines.

Scarborough Council says it takes the issue “very seriously” and will prosecute those failing to pick up their dog’s mess in court.

Offenders can be given a fixed penalty notice, or if the case goes to Magistrates’ Court, face a fine of up to £1,000.

The Gazette will continue to work with the borough council to name and shame those prosecuted for the offence in court.

Whitby people are urged to help halt the increasing problem by reporting offenders to the council.

To report offenders online, visit: www.scarborough.gov.uk/home/environment/dogs/dog-fouling.

Scarborough Council said dog fouling in the borough continues to be targeted as a priority by the dog warden service.

In December, the authority recruited another warden to help tackle the increase in offending throughout the darker winter months.

All sorts of suggestions for tackling the problem have been suggested by councils around the country, in a desperate bid to halt the issue.

These include e-fits of dogs in attempts to catch guilty owners, using drones and scrapping council tax for those who help catch the culprits.

The council in Chester is even considering a DNA database, with owners forced to pay £35 to get their pooch’s DNA registered before walking them in dog mess hotspots.

What you told us on social media...

Keen to help tackle the dog fouling problem, the Gazette asked you for your views on the issue. Here are some of the responses.

Megan Spencer: “It’s disgusting around Stakesby school area, but I agree most areas in town are bad.”

Hazel Thompson: “Upgang Lane, White Point Bridge and the field at the back of WhitePoint Avenue are disgusting.”

Helen Dunford: “I live on Murrayfield Gardens and walk my daughter to Stakesby school. She’s only three and walks looking down to keep her school shoes clean, as she says. It’s a disgrace and makes me so angry.”

Juliet Jewell: “I have a dog and always clean up after her, it’s part of having a dog and part of been a responsible owner. It makes me so angry, Stakesby Road is terrible!”

Alison Bartup: “We were in town yesterday and the problem is getting much worse. You have to constantly look down as the stuff is everywhere. Considering how busy the streets get something needs to be done.”

Donna Marshall: “It’s disgusting in Sleights too, it’s shocking everywhere.”

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