Honiton second-highest in East Devon for dog fouling complaints

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 December 2017

These statistics show the top five areas in Honiton and the Axe Valley for dog fouling complaints over the last four years.

These statistics show the top five areas in Honiton and the Axe Valley for dog fouling complaints over the last four years.

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Figures show 92 complaints had been recorded in Honiton since 2014 - the second highest amount in the district.

This chart shows the top eight areas in East Devon for dog fouling complaints over the last four years.This chart shows the top eight areas in East Devon for dog fouling complaints over the last four years.

More than 200 dog fouling complaints have been made in East Devon since the start of the year – but only four on-the-spot fines have been issued.

The Herald submitted a Freedom of Information request looking at the number of dog mess complaints made in each of the last four years compared to the number of fixed penalty notices issued to owners for not picking up after their pets.

The figures from East Devon District Council (EDDC) revealed 92 complaints had been recorded in Honiton alone since 2014 – the second highest amount in the district.

Seaton had 60, averaging at 15 complaints each year, while Colyton had 22, averaging at nearly six a year.

EDDC dog fouling sign on the pavement in the Colony. Ref exe 9780-11-15SH. Picture: Simon HornEDDC dog fouling sign on the pavement in the Colony. Ref exe 9780-11-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

The statistics revealed that across East Devon, a total of 941 complaints had been in the four years. Over the same time period, only 23 fines for dog fouling – worth £80 each – were issued across the 54 towns and villages that make up the district.

In total, EDDC collected £1,840 from owners who had been caught not picking up after their pets.

Despite this, in the last few years, the numbers of dog fouling complaints have been slowly decreasing in East Devon – with 291 in 2015, 253 the following year and 209 in 2017.

An EDDC spokeswoman said almost all the dog fouling enquiries related to small areas where general advice was being sought, and were often related to private land where the offences did not apply.

She added: “We have very few repeat complaints and even fewer situations where an offender is identified.

“Fixed penalty notices will only be issued where reliable evidence is received, and in some cases, for example allegations of fouling on private land, it is sufficient and appropriate to provide education.

“The streets and pavements of East Devon have never been cleaner and the reduction in the number of enquiries to only four per week, together with the very low number of fixed penalty notices issued, reflects that almost all dog owners are responsible and will always pick up wherever they are.”

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