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Politicians say Worcester Community Housing could help hand out £80 fines
CALLS are being made for housing association workers to be handed powers to dish out £80 on-the-spot fines for dog fouling in Worcester.
Politicians at Worcester City Council say the move could increase the possibility of more careless pooch owners being slapped with the punishments.
At the moment the authority’s 12 civil enforcement officers have powers to hand out the fines, but since 2006 only three people have been stung.
Councillors say if it was extended to Worcester Community Housing officers, there would be more eyes on the ground able to catch people out.
Councillor Richard Boorn said: “Enforcement is a problem in this city, we’d all like to see more people on the streets able to hand out fines.
“In areas like Ronkswood many of the streets are all council properties - Worcester Community Housing areas where estate managers are out and about.
“I can’t see why we should not be doing this and think it could be a win-win situation.”
Bosses at the council say the main reason the tally is so low is because dog owners have got to be caught allowing the fouling to take place before handing out a fine.
The more prescence of a CEO means the vast majority of dog walkers make sure their pet’s mess is dealt with.
Councillor Roger Knight, the cabinet member for cleaner and greener, said: “I support anything which will help improve the current situation.
“It’s on the agenda for us to talk through to see if the idea is feasible because we realise dog fouling is an issue.
“Civil enforcement officers’ prime function is road management and they can also impose fixed penalty notices for dog fouling, but they’ve got to catch it actually happening.”
The £80 fine reduces to £50 if paid within a fortnight, and if ignored would lead to a prosecution and the risk of a £1,000 penalty.
The only person caught this year was a woman at Perdiswell Park last month, after her dog urinated and fouled 10 yards away from the owner.
Worcester Community Housing say it remains open minded about the call, but would need to consider it first and consult with staff.
Helen Scarrett, housing and customer service director, said: “We would have to be asked first, it’s really difficult for us to say anything until then because it hasn’t happened yet.
“It’s an interesting one and we’d want to know more about it before we decided.”
The council put £15,000 into the budget for 40 new dog bins across Worcester last year.
All the CEOs have also been handed bikes to allow them to cover more ground.
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