Saturday, 9 April 2016

Focus on fixed penalty non-payment as dog fouling fine increases

As reported in yesterday's Courier and also on Radio Tay and Wave 102, with the fixed penalty for failing to clean up after your dog doubling from the start of this month from £40 to £80,  I have asked the council to re-double its efforts regarding the recovery of fixed penalties for dog fouling.

Dundee City Council advised has me that the statistics for dog fouling fixed penalties and payment is :

2015 :
No. of dog fouling FPNs issued during 2015 - 63
No. of these cancelled (representations / appeals upheld) - 7
No. of these paid - 29
No of these outstanding - 27 
Amount outstanding - £1,580
Overall amount outstanding over last 3 years - £4,700

2016 :
Number of FPNs issued -16
Number cancelled - 1
Number paid - 5
Number Outstanding - 10 (8 still within £40 payment period, 2 escalated to £60)
Amount Outstanding - £440

The council’s Head of Environmental Protection has advised me that :

“We shall be approaching the Procurator Fiscal’s office to discuss and establish if there are any other options open to us as regards seeking to secure a conviction against non-payment.”

Since receiving these figures, I am advised that just one of the outstanding 2015 fixed penalties has since been paid and I have therefore been in discussions with the City Council about additional ways of ensuring that all fixed penalties are paid – and paid promptly.     Recovery via bank arrestment is an obvious route to consider where a fixed penalty is ignored and the increase in the amount of the fixed penalty to £80 not only acts as a better deterrent against dog fouling but also gives local authorities more options to ensure full recovery of penalties raised.

Constituents rightly view dog fouling as disgusting and anti-social behaviour – there is absolutely no excuse for not ‘picking up’ after your dog and its clear that constituents support the fixed penalty increase and the council taking strong action to recover all penalties.