THERE is still no plan for enforcement of dog fouling, littering or other environmental crime offenders in Pembrokeshire after the end of a private company’s contract in 2020.
An ‘in-house envrio crime’ service had been due to rolled out in late spring or early summer according to a question raised at full council where the impact of covid on developing the approach was highlighted as a reason for the delay.
Members of the Pembrokeshire County Council’s services overview and scrutiny committee on Monday, September 26 heard that there had been some resource put into enforcing dog restrictions on the county’s beaches this summer but the main aim had been to collect data.
Complaints were reviewed, along with signage, engagement with dog owners on beaches carried out and guidance issued on social media, with the data collated and due to be reviewed.
“Are we as advanced as we should be, no. We need to take our time now over the autumn and get this right,” said Marc Owen, street care manager.
The use of District Enforcement Ltd to issue fines for littering and other issues caused some controversy at the time, with allegations of the targeting of smokers, earning them the nickname of the ‘fag butt police’.
Councillors heard that a tender process to continue the service in 2021 was not successful and “because of COVID and changes in people’s behaviours a decision was taken to carry out a review of the demand for and necessity of provision of a service that focussed on dog fouling and beach byelaws.”
The committee discussed the importance of education and signage to ensure restrictions are clear but it was acknowledged that “100 per cent compliance” was always unlikely.
“This is where we should not water down enforcement,” said Cllr Tony Wilcox, while Cllr Viv Stoddart adding towns had issues with dog fouling too and people should “spare a thought for the members of staff that have to clean up.”
It was agreed that analyse of the evidence obtained over the summer be reported back to committee in early 2023, along with recommendations for future plans and the suggestion of a questionnaire for all members made by Cllr Mark Carter.