Police operation sees clamp-down on mess

PC Graham Forsyth identifies one of the 49 bins in the area he hopes people will start to use.
PC Graham Forsyth identifies one of the 49 bins in the area he hopes people will start to use.

POLICE in Newton Stewart are cracking down on dog fouling and litter louts as part of a new operation.

Extra patrols will be on hand until the end of January for Operation Punk, which will focus on two of the biggest complaints locally in Newton Stewart and Minnigaff.

PC Graham Forsyth who spearheaded the campaign said hefty fines will be handed out to those caught litering or allowing their dogs to defecate without cleaning it up.

He added: “Littering is being reported to us daily and it’s something that clearly needs to be addressed. All too often we see people simply dropping takeaway trays out their car windows or dog walkers ignoring the mess their pet left behind.

“So now our own officers along with the council’s community safety officers will be on patrol as part of this operation until the end of the month looking out for offenders.”

Anyone caught ignoring the law will face a fine of £40 for dog fouling and £50 for littering.

The PC also asked members of the public to be vigilant and report any incidents to the police or council so they can act on it, adding that something he sees a lot of and can’t understand is when people bag their dog mess but leave the bag on the street instead of finding it a bin.

He said: “There are 49 public rubbish bins in and around Newton Stewart and Minnigaff. It doesn’t take much to find one and use it.”

Non-uniformed officers will also be walking the streets in a bid to catch the culprits.

PC Forsyth continued: “There is a genuine wish from people in the community to keep the area tidy but not everyone feels that way.”

He pointed to one couple who spend their own time once a month clearing litter from the roads around Machermore Cemetery into Minnigaff because they can’t stand seeing it in a mess.

Councillor Graham Nicol added: “I’m delighted to hear that this operation is taking palce because one of the things that causes most complaints is dog dirt and litter. We hear it at all our surgeries and community councils and anything that will help reduce these blights on the landscape has got to be welcomed.”