The Dog Enforcement Service undertakes the Councils statuary obligations regarding
- Stray dogs
- Fouling Enforcement
- Aggressive dogs
The Council has a legal obligation to seize any stray dogs found roaming in the community. The Dog Enforcement Wardens will help you if you lose your dog, but please reduce the chance of your dog becoming lost by keeping it under your control when exercising and ensuring your property is secure by repairing fences and closing gates.
It is an offence to allow your dog to stray. If a dog is found the Dog Enforcement Wardens will make every effort to seize it.
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires dogs whilst on a public highway or in a public place, to wear a collar with sufficient identification of the owner inscribed on it and that failure to comply with this Order may lead to legal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court and a fine of up to £1000.
The Micro chipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 requires all dogs which are older than 8 weeks to be micro chipped and registered to an approved database unless they are a certified working dog for the purposes of section 6(3) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
If a dog carries identification, on a collar and tag or micro-chip the Council will try and return the dog. A £30 fee will be charged for the Dog wardens returning your dog if it is found lost or straying.
Unfortunately, the Dog Enforcement Wardens are unable to return dogs if the owner or appropriate agent is not at home or the wrong details are recorded on the tag/microchip or if a dog is found to be consistently straying. In these circumstances the dog will be taken to the Council’s designated kennels which are subject to a release fee. This charge is higher than the Dog Warden returning a dog to you. The charges are £70 for the first day or part of, and £20 per subsequent day up to seven days. Dogs are liable to be disposed of by transfer of ownership or destruction if not claimed within 7 days and all relevant fees paid.
The Council has introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order under section 59 of ABCPA 2014 which requires any person in charge of a dog which has defecated to immediately put the faeces in a dog waste bin or a litter bin marked as being available for dog waste; or remove the faeces from the public place.
This order applies to all public places (as defined in section 74(1) of ABCPA 2014) in the district of the Council. The order comes into force and applies for three years from 1 October 2017. The Dog Enforcement Wardens regularly patrol the borough at various times of day, including outside office hours and weekend.
Any person caught allowing their dog to foul and failing to remove the faeces forthwith can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £100 or could be prosecuted in the magistrates’ court for a criminal offence and be fined up to £1,000.
If you have any concerns regarding aggressive dogs or have been attacked, please contact the Council for the Dog Enforcement Warden to investigate.
Serious dog bites should be reported to the police.
Any complaints about dogs will be responded to as quickly as possible, but always within 2 working days.
By listening to residents, we know how important it is to live and work in a community which is clean and free from litter and dog fouling. However, despite our efforts to maintain high cleanliness standards individuals continue to drop litter or fail to clean up after their dog. From 1st July 2020 Fylde Council is introducing proactive enforcement action to target this unacceptable behaviour in an effort to ensure the local environment meets an acceptable standard of cleanliness.
Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
Authorised officers will be issuing a fixed penalty notice (FPN) to anyone they observe, or have evidence to support, has committed an environmental crime such as dropping litter, or failing to clean up after their dog. A fixed penalty notice provides the opportunity to discharge any liability from being prosecuted through payment of the FPN. Choosing not to pay the FPN will result in the initiation of court proceedings, with a maximum fine of £2,500 and potential conviction at a Magistrates Court.
A fixed penalty notice could be issued if you:
- Drop litter – this includes chewing gum, fast food, fast food packaging, left over fruit (for example, apple cores and banana skins), drinks containers and sweet wrappers
- Drop cigarette ends – smokers have a responsibility to ensure their cigarette is completely extinguished before placing in a litter bin. This prevents any risk of fire within the litter bin. Cigarette waste is classified in the same way as any other form of litter, if you do not dispose of this properly i.e. in a litter bin, you can be issued with a fixed penalty notice. Why not carry a portable disposable ashtray with you or create one by placing some soil or sand in a small tin, this will ensure you always have somewhere to dispose of cigarette ends responsibly
- Fail to comply with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control – failing to pick up after the dog you are walking or not disposing of dog faeces in the correct way. It is not a valid excuse to say that you didn’t see the dog fouling or that you forgot to bring a bag with you
Fixed penalty costs
The following amounts apply:
- £100 fixed penalty notice for littering (early payment £80)
- £100 fixed penalty notice for dog fouling and other dog control offences
A period of 14 days is given to pay the Fixed penalty notice. If your financial circumstances mean you are unable to pay within the 14 day period please email the District Enforcement team immediately to discuss your circumstances. This will be reviewed, and a payment extension may be granted. All correspondence details can be found on the fixed penalty notice issued, and on any other correspondence sent by District Enforcement. Payments will not acceptable by instalment, however you may be granted a payment extension.
If you choose not to pay the fixed penalty you will be prosecuted for the offence.
Appealing an FPN
There are no formal grounds of appeal against an FPN, as it is an invitation to expel any liability to be summonsed to court for prosecution. While this is not an admission of guilt, by agreeing that an offence has been committed and by paying this no further action will be undertaken by the council. Dealing with it in this manner saves the time for everyone (including the offender) in prosecuting cases at court, and associated costs of any fine imposed by the court.
If you choose to pick up the litter or dog faeces after an enforcement officer has approached you, a fixed penalty notice will still be issued as the offence has already been committed. The littering or dog fouling offence relates to the dropping of litter or failure to clean up after the dog and then walking away from this once it has occurred. Whether or not you volunteer to pick up your litter or clean up after the dog afterwards, the offence has been committed and a fixed penalty notice will be issued.
If you do not agree that you committed the offence for which you received the FPN then the matter will be dealt with through formal prosecution through the Magistrate court. It will then be up to the court, on receiving evidence, to determine whether or not an offence was committed and therefore whether or not any penalty should be imposed. This means that allowing this to progress to formal court action, this becomes the mechanism for those wishing to appeal an FPN.
District Enforcement Officers
The company, District Enforcement provides experienced and professional enforcement officers who work under the direction and on behalf of Fylde Council. Their officers will patrol any area of land that is open to public access including town centres, the promenade and beach and other environmental hotspots.
The Environmental Crime Officers are specialists in their field, and Fylde Council has given clear and defined delegated powers, with officers following current legislative guidelines and the local authority’s enforcement policy.
All officers operating within Fylde have been screened and vetted by DBS in compliance with British Standard 7858:2012. Officers have received intensive introductory training and will continue to receive ongoing professional development to ensure high standards required by the council are met. Officers will be equipped with body worn cameras which ensures footage of every interaction between officers and members of the public are recorded. District Officers are not remunerated against the number of Fixed Penalty Notices they issue, they are paid an hourly rate and do not receive any bonuses.
Any complaints against the officers should be made to District Enforcement, and will be handled in line with established procedures. Please be aware that making a complaint will be dealt with separately to the issued FPN, and as an offence is alleged you remain liable to prosecution unless you choose to pay the FPN within the timescale specified.
Cost/income for the council
There will be no direct cost to the council, this service will be self-financing.
This is not a way for the council to generate any additional income and the scheme aims to be cost neutral. In the event that any additional money be made, it will be put into other environmental initiatives which are deemed appropriate. Our key objective is to try and stop those people who do not behave responsibly.
Signage about littering or dog fouling in the area
The local authority is not required to place signs on every street, highway, park or open space to tell people not to litter, or to inform them that litter patrols are operating in the area. Legislation has been in force for many years, but as littering and dog fouling has increased significantly in many parts of the country many local authorities are actively issuing FPNs to drive the message home that it is unacceptable to spoil the local environment by carelessly discarding rubbish or failing to remove dog faeces.
As with signage it is not feasible for the council to put litter bins on every street or highway in the borough, although every effort is made to place bins where there are the greatest levels of pedestrian footfall, such as in town centres, shopping areas, promenade, parks and open spaces. Once bagged, dog fouling should be placed in any of our public litter bins. Where bins are not available then it is up to everyone to act responsibly and make appropriate arrangements to take their litter or dog faeces home or carry it to the next available litter bin.
Informing the public
Fylde Council has run a variety of awareness and educational campaigns over recent years aimed at targeting littering and dog fouling in the borough. We continue to promote anti-litter and anti-dog fouling messages through social media, press releases, posters and bin stickers, and on the side of our collection vehicles. This has been regularly completed in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy and Love my Beach. Unfortunately, education doesn’t work if the key message is being ignored. Therefore, to drive these messages forward and make a real difference it is essential that this is accompanied with enforcement action, ensuring that our patrols target any individuals who choose to ignore littering laws which the majority of people adhere to.
- We will only issue warnings on the initial week of operation, and after that you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice for dropping litter or not cleaning up after a dog
- It is still classified as littering if you drop litter near or around your place of work. This may include rear entrances to shops and restaurants, offices, depots, hospitals and health centres. This also includes local authority buildings
- You can use litter bins without ashtrays, by extinguishing the cigarette first, then placing it in the bin
- No bin doesn’t mean no FPN – not having a bin to hand is not an excuse for littering or removing dog fouling
- Placing a cigarette end down a drain is still an offence which will result in an FPN
- Placing rubbish in a stream is an offence and will result in an FPN
- The offence is committed once the item is deposited on public land and the person walks away
Failing to give your name and address is an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1990 Section 88 (8B).