Dog owners abuse Uckfield council staff

Irresponsible dog owners have verbally abused Uckfield Town Council staff who have tried to enforce the town’s new dog control orders.dog_sign_victoria_2_web

And the police have also visited owners who have let their dogs loose in the town’s tennis courts.

The incidents have been at the town’s Victoria Pleasure Grounds, where dog faeces are being found on the grassed area – used by the town’s football and cricket clubs.

Assistant town clerk, Christine Wheatley told councillors the police visits followed incidents when people used tennis courts to exercise their dogs because the grass was muddy.

Council grounds staff were ignored and as a result the owners were visited at home by officers.

Cllr Alan Whittaker, chairman of the council’s environment and leisure committee, said in a report: “The heavy rain has exacerbated the situation, but the essence of the problem is irresponsible dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pets. Grounds staff have suffered verbal abuse when trying to enforce the DCOs (dog control orders).

“Part of the problem at Victoria is the habit of some dog owners to sit in their cars while their dogs run loose. A possible answer is to introduce an additional control order making it an offence to let dogs off leads until New Barn (is reached).”

Cllr Whittaker said in general the orders had been adhered to.

He said the council’s policy, which was introduced last autumn, was one of “co-operation and education”.

A “light touch” remained a pre-requisite of any further action, he said.

Some councillors suggested seeking the help from the dog walkers’ group, which was formed last year when the dog control orders were first mooted.

It was agreed that a group including councillors, with council staff, would meet the police seeking support for council staff and ensuring compliance with the orders.

Councillors said there were dog fouling problems elsewhere in Uckfield.

Earlier story – Council to review dog by-laws

Dog control orders comes into force

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