If you mess up, clean up... or you’ll be forced to pay up

Ryan Johnston and Stephen Stewart from Newtownabbey Borough Council's Enforcement Team remind local residents that they will be out in force, day and night, this winter in a bid to catch litter louts and irresponsible dog owners. INNT43-517CON
Ryan Johnston and Stephen Stewart from Newtownabbey Borough Council's Enforcement Team remind local residents that they will be out in force, day and night, this winter in a bid to catch litter louts and irresponsible dog owners. INNT43-517CON

With the clock’s changing at the weekend, Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Enforcement Team is sending out a strong warning to litter louts and irresponsible pet owners - we will be watching.

The darker months are a time when litter and dog fouling offences increase, but this winter council staff will be out in force, day and night, to catch offenders.

The move comes as part of the local authority’s no nonsense campaign ‘Don’t Rubbish Newtownabbey’, which targets littering and dog fouling throughout the borough, in a bid to try and reduce the problem.

Ryan Johnston, Senior Enforcement Officer, explains: “With the clocks changing and the darker mornings and evenings well and truly with us, the problem of dog fouling and littering will inevitably increase. In 2010 the number of complaints received by the council went up by 42 per cent during the winter months. People tend to think that because it’s dark, they won’t be seen, so they won’t get caught. However, our message couldn’t be clearer - Mess Up, Clean Up or Pay Up. Patrols are being stepped up late into the evenings and early mornings to identify offenders who use the cover of darkness to commit offences.”

He added: “Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, it’s dangerous and for that reason we are committed to tackling the issue and implementing our councillors’ zero tolerance policy. We aim to send a clear message that anyone caught failing to clear up after their dog or dropping their litter, day or night, will be fined. However, this campaign is about more than just enforcement and we hope to educate and inform residents as well. We are encouraging members of the public to become more vigilant and more vocal. If you see someone allowing their dog to foul, we want to know about it. Similarly, if you see someone throw their litter or cigarette butts away, we want to know about it. Together we can make our borough a cleaner place.”

Members of the public are being urged to report offenders to the council’s Environmental Services team on Te: 028 9034 0160 or via email at envhealth@newtownabbey.gov.uk, providing as much information regarding the locations and times the offences were committed as possible.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...