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Litterbugs fall foul of Malvern Council
Malvern Hills District Council has been battling the litterbugs lately and it is determined to show residents what will happen if they're caught breaking the law.
In the first incident, in June, a woman was witnessed cleaning up after her dog defaecated in a public place but then throwing her collection bag under a car rather than disposing of it properly.
The woman has since been issued with a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice for breaching the Public Space Protection Order for Dog Control, introduced by Malvern Hills District Council last year.
As well as increasing the fine for failing to clean up after a dog, the order also created a new offence requiring dog owners to carry a 'poo bag' or other means to clean up after their pet. It also became an offence to fail to keep a dog on a lead in a designated area and failing to keep a dog out of fenced off or enclosed children's playgrounds.
Since the order was introduced just over a year ago, five people have been issued FPNs for breaches, none of which have been for failing to carry a dog poo bag. However, the council's Community and Environmental Protection Officers have spoken to more than 200 people, all of whom were able to prove they had the means to clean up after their pet.
More than 250 people have also signed up to the council's Green Dog Walkers scheme which is a non-confrontational, friendly way of helping to change attitudes towards dog fouling.
Those who sign up pledge to always clean up after their dog, carry extra dog poo bags, be happy to lend bags to those who need them and offer friendly reminders to others to clean up after their dog. In return they receive a badge, free poo bags and an information pack.
Cllr Bronwen Behan, Portfolio Holder for Environment on Malvern Hills District Council, said of the scheme:
"We introduced the order because we wanted to send a clear message that we will not tolerate dog fouling or other dog control offences in our district. We don't want to be issuing fines to lots of people, we just want dog owners to take responsibility for cleaning up after their pets but at the same time we will take action as this case demonstrates. I'd also like to remind dog owners that they can dispose of their used poo bags in any litter bin, it does not have to be a dedicated dog poo bin.
"We've enjoyed strong support from the public following the introduction of the PSPO and I'd like to thank them for their co-operation."
In the second incident, a van driver has been ordered to pay more than £2,200 after failing to comply with an investigation into fly-tipping.
Daniel Paduraru, of West Bromwich, was found guilty of non-compliance with a statutory notice under section 110 of the Environment Act. He was convicted in his absence after failing to attend Worcester Magistrates' Court in June.
Malvern Hills District Council had originally attempted to prosecute the 26-year-old for fly-tipping after delivery packaging was reported dumped in a ditch last August. Council officers investigating the case found evidence which led them to Mr Paduraru.
However, when officers wrote to him asking for information relating to the offence they received no reply. The council then offered to deal with the matter by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice but again received no response from Mr Paduraru. Further attempts to contact him also proved fruitless and finally he failed to respond to the summons to attend court to answer the charge against him.
It is illegal to obstruct authorised officials in the investigation of an environmental crime and individuals are required to respond to requests for information and to answer questions put to them.
Magistrates fined Mr Paduraru £1,250 and also ordered him to pay costs of £1,048.
"We will always investigate any fly-tip where we think there is a reasonable chance of securing a prosecution and we will not simply go away if people ignore us," said Cllr Behan. "Mr Paduraru is now paying a heavy price due to his failure to engage with our officers.
"We will not tolerate fly-tipping in our district and will use all powers at our disposal to tackle the problem and those responsible."
9th August 2018