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Published 19 February 2019

Five extra officers are being trained to issue fixed penalty notices as part of a clamp down on dog fouling.

The five officers, who work with the Communities Team, will have the authority to issue a fine to any resident who doesn’t pick up after their pet, as well as investigate complaints about dog fouling.

It brings the total number of staff members able to issue the fines to eleven - nearly doubling the Council’s current dog fouling workforce.

The additional support has been given through the Council’s Your Community initiative after feedback from communities showed it was one of the biggest concerns for residents.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “We want our communities to be the best they can be and this requires dog owners to do the right thing and pick up after their dogs, and for the most part, that’s what people do.

“Unfortunately a small minority give dog owners a bad name and we are still seeing problems with dog fouling in certain areas.

“I’m delighted to have five extra staff members that shows our firm commitment to tackling this problem and ensuring our neighbourhoods, parks and green spaces are an enjoyable experience for all.”

Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development added: “It is extremely unfair that some irresponsible owners dodge their responsibilities when it comes to their pet.

“We already offer free poo bags at a number of locations, which has definitely encouraged their use. But the increased presence of officers who can fine these individuals will hopefully deter the few who repeatedly leave the mess behind.

“We would like to get to a stage where no fines are issued for dog fouling at all because every resident is proud of their community and is doing the right thing and picking up the mess.”

Dog fouling is consistently raised by West Dunbartonshire residents as an area of concern, making it clear that the vast majority of people do the right thing and expect others to do the same.

The Council gives away around five million free poo bags every year, and has in excess of 1000 bins for collecting the mess.

If owners don't clean up after their pet then they are breaking the law and could face an £80 fixed penalty, rising to £100 if not paid within 28 days.