Teries urged to report dog dirt to wardens

Councillor Davie Paterson.
Councillor Davie Paterson.
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Teries are being urged to report dog fouling to help the region’s wardens tackle the problem more effectively.

That appeal comes after Scottish Borders Council officers met the region’s 3GS dog fouling and littering enforcement officers last week to ask them to give a higher priority to issuing fines for dog fouling.

Reporting back to community council meetings in both Hawick and Denholm this week, Scottish Borders councillors are now calling for members of the public to capitalise on the renewed focus they hope has been put on the problem.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson, the authority’s executive member for environmental services, told Hawick Community Council’s meeting on Monday evening: “We made it quite clear that we want the wardens to put more impetus on dog fouling rather than just litter.

“These offending dog walkers are a minority, but this minority cannot be allowed to get away with it.

“It’s disgusting. and it needs to be stopped.

“We need the people of Hawick and right across the Borders to get behind this.”

The wardens will welcome tip-offs about recurring offenders that will allow them to be in the right place at the right time to witness such offences, the meetings heard.

In Denholm on Wednesday, Hawick and Denholm Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall added: “While I welcome the fact that people can call in and request the presence of these two wardens that we have for the whole of the Borders, I doubt they will be able to make every call.

“But I do welcome the progress and the fact they are taking these sorts of requests,

“The dog fouling issue both here and in Hawick is that people are allowing their dogs to foul in the early morning and late at night. That is when we need the wardens to be out.

“We all need to phone in.”

The 12-month pilot arrangement with 3GS, allocating two wardens, Tony Garrick and Paul Marenghi, to cover the whole of the Borders, has come in for criticism previously over the lack of tickets and fines issued and the fact that it can cost the council around £1,000 to recover an unpaid fine of just £80.

Hawick Community Council chairwoman Marion Short reiterated to members that wardens need to be supported by local intelligence to help them target the right areas at the right times.

She said: “Council officers meet with the two officers on a weekly basis to discuss strategy and intelligence, and I welcome the news that dog fouling is now just as high up on their agenda as litter.

“We want to avoid confrontation, but they need to be supported. All you need to do is take note of the day, date, time, place and give a description of the dog.

“Pass on as many details as possible to the wardens.”

In 2013, as a cost-cutting measure, the council withdrew its nine-strong in-house community warden team issuing tickets for dog fouling offences.

In the year that followed, the number of incidents reported to the council hit 385, and in the year after, it rose 16% to 446.

To report dog fouling, call 0300 100 1800 or go to www.scotborders.gov.uk/info/20052/environmental_problems/583/dog_fouling