Apr 11 2012 by Euan McLelland, Airdrie & Coatbridge
MORE than eight times as many people were fined for doing the toilet in the street than dogs in North Lanarkshire in the last year.
On the spot police fines issued to the regions residents for urinating and defecating in public shot to 866 in 2011, almost nine times the 103 council-issued penalties for dog fouling and its not a new problem.
The number of people answering the call of nature to the annoyance of others has swamped the number of dog walkers caught failing to pick up their poochs poo in each of the last three years.
Across that period, 2351 fixed penalty notices were handed to those caught short in public, blowing the 287 fines issued to lazy dog walkers out of the water.
In 2011, 866 on the spot penalties were issued by police under Section 47 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, information made available to the Advertiser by a Freedom of Information request.
During that same year, only 103 dog fouling fixed notices were served by North Lanarkshire Council.
In 2009, there were more than 11 times the number of dog fouling penalties issued to people caught toileting in public, 69 and 764 respectively.
The gap narrowed in 2010, with 115 on the spot fines for dog litter equating to only six times the number of people caught short in public, 721.
North Lanarkshire Council believe it is their commitment to keeping the streets clean of dog dirt that has seen so few fixed penalties.
Mark Findlay, the councils environmental protection manager, said: The council makes huge efforts to tackle the problem of dog fouling through the Good Dog campaign and the evidence shows those efforts are having a positive effect.
We hand out millions of free bags and thousands of free scoops every year, and records show dog fouling is reducing across the authority. The number of complaints coming in is far lower than it used to be.
It is important that dog owners know they can bag and dispose of dispose of their dogs waste in any bin, and that residents continue to report hot spot areas so we can investigate and clean up.
Anyone caught allowing their dog to foul is immediately issued with a s40 fixed penalty notice without exception.
Since 2007, Strathclyde Police have received reports of 20 dog fouling offences, 18 of which were detected.