Rewards for dog mess whistleblowers

Residents who report dog-owners who fail to clean up after their pets are to be given the proceeds from £75 fines handed out by council wardens.

7ed5cc46-5ccf-11e3-b653-0a0c0223000020131205T152807
Stafford residents who report dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets are to be given the proceeds from fines

Residents who report dog-owners who fail to clean up after their pets are to be given the proceeds from £75 fines handed out by council wardens.

Stafford Borough Council hopes the reward scheme will tap into anger among responsible dog-owners at the inconsiderate actions of others.

Under the initiative, which is similar to a scheme launched by a north London council in 2009, residents who gives details which lead to a dog-owner being prosecuted or given a fixed penalty notice will receive £75.

Only a handful of people have been fined for dog-fouling offences in Stafford during recent high-visibility patrols in problem areas.

Frank Finlay, cabinet member for environment and health, said: "I think it is right that a community-minded resident, who helps us crack down on something that is not only disgusting but can have serious health repercussions, should be rewarded - and it is the inconsiderate dog-owner that should pay.

"The public have backed our zero-tolerance stance from the very beginning. They have told us who, where and when, and this has helped us fine offenders.

"So it is only right that when we take this money off those who don't care about the environment and health of others, we should hand it over to those who do."

News of the initiative in Stafford comes days after it emerged that cash rewards of up to £1,000 are being offered by police to Christmas and new year revellers who "shop" drink-drivers.

Derbyshire Constabulary and West Midlands Police are promoting the rewards to help catch drivers who are over the alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs.

Running until New Year's Day, the scheme will see posters placed in pubs and clubs urging drinkers to report those flouting the law to the Crimestoppers hotline.