Dog walkers in Gateshead could face fines for failing to carry waste bags

Dog walkers in Gateshead who don’t carry waste bags for their pets’ mess could face fines under new rules being imposed by Gateshead council.

Gateshead council have said that “numerous complaints” had been made by the residents of the area, which had sparked the proposal to introduce new rulings on dog fouling.

The council went on to explain that: “Numerous complaints from Gateshead residents about people not clearing up after their dogs, have prompted Gateshead Council to authorise Public Space Protection Orders, which will be enforced from March 1.

“The order is for the whole of Gateshead and will introduce measures to make sure anyone walking a dog has the means to clear up after it and then deposit the bag in bins, or take it home.”

If anyone is to breach the new order, then they will either have to pay the fixed penalty of £100, or prosecution which could result in a £1000 fine.

In a recent survey executed by the council, it was found that “nearly 80% of people” were worried about the increased dog fouling in the area.

Councilor Linda Green, Cabinet Member for Communities and Volunteering, said: “Dog fouling is a persistent problem across the borough.

“Hopefully, the order will be one way forward in tackling this antisocial behaviour from some dog owners.

“It takes very little time and effort to clean up after your dog and we need dog owners to take responsibility for their actions or face up to a hefty fine.”

Even though Gateshead council are putting measures in place, some residents are unsure as to whether it will work.

Karen Bell, a local resident, said that: “Anything that the council can do to reduce it is a good thing but policing it will be the issue. I just can’t see how this can happen on a day to day basis.”

Mrs Bell felt quite strongly though that the “simple solution to solving the issue she raised would be to put more bins out” on public footpaths.

“The walks that we do have none, so we have to walk 2-3 miles then to take it home, ” she said.

Alongside the current measures in place, the council will be placing signs throughout the borough to remind people, along with 5,000 bags being distributed to residents.

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