NO matter which way you look at it, it’s a doggone mess.
I refer to the widely welcomed but totally ridiculous decision by Cornwall Council to introduce on-the-spot fines for those who allow their dogs to foul our footpaths, parks and playing fields.
This is window dressing of the worst kind. The type of initiative taken by bureaucrats who wish to appear positive, proactive and in tune with the populace.
But it is impractical, unworkable and a complete nonsense.
The problem is there in the name. What are the chances (millions to one?) of an approved enforcer being on the spot to witness the offence and impose the fine?
There is no comparison between this and, for example, on-the-spot penalties for speeding and other driving infringements. These are usually the result of detection devices or people being on place at known hot spots for offending.
Highway patrols, speed cameras and CCTV are sited where it is most likely the laws will be broken.
But dog pooping? This is a sudden and spontaneous act, done at the whim of the animal at any time and in any place.
And the irresponsible owners who allow the resulting heap of steaming excreta to remain in place usually take a few furtive glances to ensure they are not being watched before scurrying on. Scooping is only done if the deed has been witnessed. Embarrassed into a clean-up rather than performed as the result of any social conscience.
It is left to some innocent pedestrian (probably with eyes on their phone) to suffer the indignity of footwear covered in the stinking, slimy goo and no immediate way of washing it fully away.They are only ones who are on the spot.
And no way will this seemingly positive move do anything to catch the crappers or reduce the amount of s**t fouling out footpaths.
It’s the council which is on the spot over finding a genuinely workable solution.