A COMPANY is set to help tackle dog fouling in the Vale, after plans for a one-year pilot scheme were given the go-ahead by the council yesterday (Wednesday).

A part of the trial, local authority support company the XFOR Group will be deployed to provide greater surveillance of dog fouling offences, including better coverage over weekends and evenings.

On behalf of the council, trained uniformed XFOR officers would issue fixed penalty notices for offences relating to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Fouling of Land Act 1996 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Cllr Geoffrey Cox, Cabinet Member for Visible and Building Services at the Vale Council, assessed similar work being carried out by XFOR frontline officers in Blaenau Gwent, where a trial has been under way since October.

Cllr Cox said: "Our residents are passionate about stamping out all instances of anti-social crimes such as dog fouling and littering.

“While we recognise the majority of our dog walkers do behave responsibly, a few do not. It is these that we will be targeting during the trial and if falling foul of the law, they will face considerable fines."

After three months, Blaenau Gwent reported that XFOR issued around 600 fixed penalty notices at £75 a time to residents who littered or failed to pick up their dog mess.

Like Blaenau Gwent, the Vale will follow a "no cost for the service approach" during the trial. Of every £75 fixed penalty notice, 60 per cent will cover XFOR wages and costs, and the remaining 40 per cent will be reinvested back into dog fouling and litter initiatives and equipment.

Operational Manager for Waste Manager and Cleansing at the Vale, Clifford Parish said: "Our existing enforcement team remains an extremely valuable resource but their remit includes not only the enforcement of littering and dog fouling, but fly-tipping, co-ordinating graffiti removal, inspection of household waste recycling centres, check compliance with tipping permits, duty of care checks on waste producers, slipway permit compliance and the investigation of all reported environmental crimes - to name only some of their duties.

"Clearly, their capability of covering the Vale by focusing on one environmental crime extensively is limited.

"I therefore support any provision of additional enforcement resource on a trial basis. By working together with XFOR we can better combat dog fouling and littering crimes to keep our streets and open spaces even cleaner.

“As usual, law-abiding residents and visitors have nothing to fear, but offenders watch out! Inevitably you will get caught and prosecuted."