Dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets are being targetet by undercover enforcement officers as part of an initiative to catch culprits in the act.
Since the beginning of April, Cherwell District Council’s enforcement officers have issued two £50 fixed penalty notices to residents who were seen not clearing up after their dogs.
In a bid to catch more offenders and clean up the district, officers will now carry out covert patrols and undertake early morning and evening surveillance of hotspot areas.
Mark Harmon, environmental enforcement manager, said: “The majority of dog owners in Cherwell religiously pick up after their pets but there are those who will try and get away with it if they think nobody is watching.
“Our message is that we are watching and patrolling at all hours of the day, not just from 9am – 5pm.
“While some of our patrols will involve high vis clothing to make ourselves noticeable, others will be much more discreet in a bid to catch offenders in the act. So our advice is to always pick up after your pooch as you never know just who is watching - or when.”
Officers have previously carried out covert patrols dressed in casual clothing or while posing as fellow dog walkers. Since the start of the financial year two fixed penalty notices have been issued; one in Milcombe and one in Bicester.
Morning patrols have already been carried out in People’s Park in Banbury from 6am with additional patrols planned for other areas over the course of the summer months.
Those who are caught could be fined £50 or have the matter escalated to magistrates’ court where the penalty could be increased to £1,000. Visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/dogfouling or call 01295 227007 to report an incident.