Irresponsible dog owners across Pembrokeshire are being warned to clean up after their pooches and dispose of the bags correctly, as the County Council's new enviro crime enforcement officers will be hitting culprits with fines for offences.

During the holiday period, a Saundersfoot councillor has said that it has not only been discouraging to see the amount of people ignoring the ‘beach ban’ restrictions on dogs during May and September, but also the amount leaving dog fouling bags around the seaside village.

The restrictions on dogs on beaches on some of Pembrokeshire’s beaches, ends today (October 1).

“Over the summer season it has been disappointing to see the amount of poo bags in the lane half way down the Strand,” remarked county councillor for Saundersfoot’s south ward Cllr Chris Williams.

“I have had a local builder working in the lane report that he’s seen a woman pick up her dogs mess in the lane and sling the bag over into the property opposite next to the lane!”

Only recently, Cllr Williams said that he’d been down to replace the ‘No dogs on the beach’ flag, which was damaged during a storm and collected five tied up poo bags that had been left in the lane.

“This is a common practice that has been going on all year and every day there are numerous comments of poo bags being left,” he continued.

Saundersfot dog sign
Pembrokeshire County Council's beach ban on dogs ends on October 1 (Observer pic)

“This problem also occurs in the lane from Bevelin Hall down to Swallow Tree Woods and also on the Incline heading up to the top of the Ridgeway.

“Currently I’m looking into having a few dog poo bins installed at strategic points that will hopefully help the current situation.

“May I remind residents that it’s a very small percentage of dog owners that do this. It’s your dog and you have the responsibility to clean up its mess and dispose of it correctly.

“There are many local residents who don’t have dogs and these shouldn’t be impacted by lazy individuals. Also a big thanks to the vast majority who pick up the poo bags on a daily basis.

“We, as a community, strive to keep our village as clean as possible. It’s just a small minority as always who cut corners and this impacts on the local community.”

The County Council recently vowed to take ‘positive action’ to help keep our county a clean and beautiful place to live, work and visit, ahead of a new firm being awarded a contract to carry out environmental crime enforcement across Pembrokeshire.

WISE (Waste Investigations Support & Enforcement) has been awarded the contract - said to be experienced contractors who carry out enforcement for several Local Authorities across the UK.

Saundersfoot beach
PCC's enviro crime officers will be tackling breaches of byelaws relating to dogs on beaches next year. (Observer pic)

WISE enforcement officers can issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for offences including: Littering; Fly-tipping; Dog fouling; Graffiti and fly-posting; Breaches of byelaws relating to dogs on beaches

The level of FPN varies between offences but an offence of littering will see a £150 FPN issued, reduced to £75 if paid within 10 calendar days.

A £150 FPN (£75 if paid within 10 days) will be issued where a dog walker is witnessed not to have cleaned up after their pet.

After criticising PCC ahead of the beach restrictions which began in May for dog owners for an ‘oversight’ in not putting the warning signage out, Cllr Williams felt that over the summer, most abided by the rules, stating that he felt that the extra signage had worked ‘extremely well’ on the main slipway.

“I do feel that the majority follow the signs but unfortunately a small minority will totally disregard the signs and will spoil it for everyone,” he added.