16 May 2022

Seven fines issued by Derry City and Strabane District Council for dog fouling in the last two years

Councillor says he is 'disappointed' with the figures

Message for Derry dog owners to 'do the right thing'

Only seven fines have been issued for dog fouling in Derry's council area in the past two years, it has emerged.

A local councillor who has been pushing for more to be done to tackle the problem has said he is 'disappointed' at the low number of fixed penalty notices that are being issued by officers from Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Dog fouling has long been a controversial issue in the local area.

Speaking at a meeting of the council's Health and Community committee on Thursday, DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney said he and other councillors had received more complaints about the problem during the lockdown period, given the amount of people who were using local walkways and parks.

Alderman Devenney said he had asked for a breakdown of the amount of fines thet had been issued by the council in relation to dog fouling in the last five years.

A council officer told the meeting that he only had the figures for the last two years.

The officer said that in 2018/19, there had been five fixed penalty notices issued for dog fouling and a further 38 notices for dog straying.

He said that there was a consensus that dog straying would inevitably lead to dog fouling.

The officer said that in 2019/20, there were two fixed penalty notices issued for dog fouling, with a  further 27 notices handed out for dog straying.

Alderman Devenney it was clear that more needed to be done to address the problem of dog fouling.

"I am disappointed with the numbers given all that we as a council have thrown at this problem," he said.

"We need to be seriously looking at this as a committee."

Sinn Fein councillor Patricia Logue asked at the meeting how many council officers were authorised to issue fixed penalty notices in relation to dog fouling.

She was told that currently eight to nine members of council staff have such authority but that discussions are continuing about the possibility of increasing this number.

The meeting was told that a more detailed report on the issue of dog fouling will be brought before the council committee's meeting next month.

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