Below you can see a sign that is to be found on the riverside walks warning of a £500 maximum fine for not picking up doo poo. The sign is out of date however and refers to the Civic Government Act 1982, according to a recent Highland Council dog poo campaign press release the fine now is: "a fixed penalty of £40, which rises to £60 if the penalty is not paid within 28 days" and comes under legislation entitled Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003.
Just do a search of the Gurn for "dog poo" and you will see how people are very much annoyed by those citizens (a minority of dog owners) who still leave doggie jobbies lying in popular parts of town and now there is also the increasing minority sport of picking up the dog poo in a bag and tying it to a bush or tree or leaving it in some other prominent position. The latter is a very curious practice indeed but it does go on. Every Community Council meeting in Nairn seems to end up with dog poo being discussed at some stage and there is now a clamour coming from the citizenry in Nairn and elsewhere in the Highlands for their elected members to act.
Thus the Highland Council state on their press release:
"A new poster campaign has been launched in the Highlands to remind dog walkers that people who do not pick up after their pets have fouled will be issued a fixed penalty notice. The posters also encourage the public to work with the Council in helping to track down persistent offenders.
The new signs give members of the public information on how to quickly report dog walkers who break the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003. They are appearing at locations across the Highlands where dogs are walked regularly. If a person witnesses someone not picking up after their dog has fouled, they are urged to call the council on 01349 886606 to report it." More information here.
As we mentioned the Civic Govt Act Dog Poo minutiae was superseded by the 2003 legislation. You can examine the 2003 legislation here. We contrasted recently the maximum £1,000 fine for the offence in Durham with the £40 penalty here in the Highlands (Article here). What is interesting however is information contained on the Borders Council website re the 2003 act:
"If you do not clean up after your dog, you face a fixed penalty of £40, which can go up to £60 if not paid within 28 days. Offenders can be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may be fined up to £500 if convicted."
It is interesting then to see that there is still the £500 option there. This observer wonders how or why it might be possible to report an offender to the fiscal. Does there need to be special circumstances? Again another snippet from the Borders Council site: "A number of SBC staff and the Police can issue fixed penalty notices."
Now our police force has got plenty to do but maybe at some point they might be able to work with the council to have a blitz on the jobbie offenders in Nairn?