SWANSEA Council has not issued any dog fouling fines in 12 months, but has urged owners to be responsible and clear up after their pets.

Neath Port Talbot Council and Carmarthenshire Council, in comparison, issued 31 and 27 fixed penalty notices respectively for dog fouling in 2018-19.

Swansea Council uses an enforcement company called 3GS to target litter louts and irresponsible dog owners – and a council spokesman said 3GS staff did focus on dog fouling as part of their duties.

Councillor Jeff Jones, who led a cross-party scrutiny group on environmental enforcement, said he felt that fixed penalty notices were an important dog fouling deterrent.

“If they can do it in Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire, they can do it in Swansea,” he said.

The council spokesman said it provided more than 500 dog mess bins in Swansea, responded to dog fouling complaints, and patrolled hot spots.

“This provides a deterrent to dog owners who may be considering allowing their dogs to foul public areas,” he said.

“It is a great shame that not all dog owners act responsibily.”

He said 16 fixed penalty notices were issued to owners whose pets were not on dog-friendly beaches in 2018-19, and that 1,777 fines were dished out to people caught dropping litter.

Earlier this year the environmental enforcement scrutiny group heard that 3GS did not cost the council a penny, due to the way fixed penalty revenue was shared.

But the scrutiny group expressed disappointment at the low number of dog fouling fines, and wanted to know more about how the contract with 3GS was structured.

Irresponsible dog owners can be fined £75, or prosecuted.

Swansea, like all authorities, receives hundreds of dog mess complaints every year. Five years ago the council issued 22 fines, but the number has dropped since then.

A member of staff at Sam’s Cafe, Sandfields, said the fouling problem had got so bad outside the premises that bosses checked CCTV footage every morning to see if they could trace the offenders.

“People were traipsing it (dog mess) through the front door,” she said. “It’s ridiculous, but it seems to have calmed down.”

But she added: “It’s everywhere in Sandfields. You have to walk with your head down.”

The Local Democracy Reporter Service contacted other businesses in Swansea, including the Haystack Cafe, Brynhyfryd, where an employee said dog mess wasn’t a problem.

A member of staff at Parlour Tea and Coffee Shop, Llanfgyfelach, said dog fouling was an issue “now and again”.

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