Chatteris beats Wisbech, March and Whittlesey to become top of the plops

21:14 03 March 2014

Cllr Peter Murphy sprays some dog poo in Wisbech Park, watched by council officers.

Cllr Peter Murphy sprays some dog poo in Wisbech Park, watched by council officers.

Archant

Chatteris has come out tops in the poo pests league after dog fouling patrols counted the number of messes in the four major parks in Fenland.

In one day dog messes were counted and sprayed by volunteers using a biodegradable orange spray paint.

Furrowfields Park in Chatteris came out as having the biggest problem in the Fens with a massive 277.

Next on the hit list was West End Park in March which had 130, while Whittlesey Manor Park had 100 messes.

At Wisbech Park there were just 19 cases of dog fouling.

Councillor Peter Murphy, portfolio holder for environment and street scene, said: “Dog mess is a pain in my backside.

“We have been asked to do something and we have done something. Spray painting may seem a silly thing to do but it’s drawing attention to the scale of the problem.

“It’s been the most talked about thing for years so it is good in raising awareness.”

Next stop will be a spray paint campaign in the villages in a bid to make owners pick up their dog’s mess.

Covert operations to watch people who are known dog mess perpetrators is difficult, he said, as officers have to be there to watch it being done.

They now wear black jackets instead of fluorescent council jackets in order to be less obtrusive.

In the last year there have been 290 complaints about dog poo across the four Fenland towns and 40 complaints in the villages.

“We aim to make a difference, this is an important environmental issue,” said Cllr Murphy.

The campaign follows the recent news that the first dog owner in the district has been fined for not picking up his dog’s mess.

The 46 year old March man was caught allowing his Jack Russell onto a street and then calling it back inside once its business had been done.

An enforcement officer was in Eastwood Avenue, March, when he spotted the offence being committed and issued a £75 fixed penalty notice to the man.

It was the first ‘poo-related’ fine since the fixed penalty notices were introduced in October 2012, to target anyone caught breaking dog control orders.

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: “Our enforcement officer was on hand to witness the man open his front door to let his dog out and allow it to do its business in the road outside his property before calling it back in.

“The man was served his penalty notice on the spot.”

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