Dog Control Orders
STATEMENT BY PHILIP SIMPKINS – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF
BEDFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL
Bedford Borough Council has been involved in
the prosecution of an offence relating to a dog which was allowed
off a lead in Foster Hill Road Cemetery. The owner had
refused to pay a fixed penalty fine. It was considered right to
continue with the prosecution as evidence was submitted which
confirmed the dog was off the lead and there was reasonable signage
throughout the cemetery bringing the restriction to the attention
of dog walkers.
It has come to light that an administrative
procedural error has occurred and the Council should not have
enforced payment against the 44 Fixed Penalty Notices issued in
respect of Dog Control Orders. Accordingly, all individuals
issued with Fixed Penalty Notices have been written to explaining
this administrative mistake and they will be offered a full refund
of their fixed penalty fine.
The Council remains committed to the
enforcement of Dog control Orders which prevent dogs being allowed
off leads in certain places such as cemeteries and children’s
playgrounds. There was overwhelming public support for the
introduction of powers which establish these particular places as
locations where people can be assured dogs are not allowed off the
lead. The orders also allow the Council to enforce against
people who allow dogs to foul public spaces and do not clean up
Action will be taken immediately to commence a
process to overcome the administrative error.
The Council has received an anonymous payment
of £75 in connection with the current court proceedings and this
will be donated to the Friends of Bedford Cemetery.
I would like to offer a full and unreserved
apology for the mistake which the Council has made for this
administrative error which has led to us being unable to enforce
against people who allow dogs in places where it is entirely
unsuitable or to foul public areas. I can assure the
public that this will be corrected without delay.