Dog fouling, bin lorry blockers: Council leads the way
Councils in other parts of the country besieged by some of the same problems being tackled here have asked for advice from Boston Borough Council.
A number have asked about the borough council's use of new legislation to encourage more to clean up after their dogs. They have asked how the council has implemented the new rules requiring dog walkers to prove they have every intention to clean up, such as by being able to produce a poo bag. They risk a £100 fine if they cannot show they intended cleaning up, and a £100 fine if they fail to clean up.
In addition to the borough council's own enforcement officers the council has now also enlisted the services of a private enforcement company, 3GS. Their uniformed enforcement officers, who are ex-military, will be mounting surveillance in hot-spot areas and after hours, so early morning and after-dark dog walkers can be dealt with. They are equipped to confirm an offender's identity and issue an on-the-spot fine.
Some other councils have been alerted to the borough council's actions on dog fouling by residents via social media who have asked for the same action to be taken where they live.
Inconsiderately parked vehicles which block the route needed to be taken by bin lorries seems to be another problem shared. A district council in Wales and three others, including one of the London councils and a large metropolitan council, have asked the borough council for information on how it is tackling persistent offenders using anti-social behaviour legislation. It has asked to follow the borough council's progress on this one with a possible view to copying.
Vehicle owners who continuously obstruct Boston Borough Council's bin lorries now face risk of prosecution.
Registration numbers are being recorded of repeat offenders who leave their vehicles inconsiderately parked so that the lorries cannot pass. They will receive a Community Protection Notice Warning and then a Community Protection Notice requiring them to desist.
The council is able to determine the registered owner of a vehicle from its registration number. Failure to respond to the notice is a criminal offence which can be punishable with a fine of up to £2,500.
Efforts by the borough council to encourage vehicles to be parked more considerately on bin collection days, such as notices left on car windscreens and a leaflet drop to properties in troubled areas, had failed and there were additional costs in making return visits in an effort to empty bins.
The borough council is now using Section 43 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
On Wednesday the council took to social media to thank residents of Horace Street, one of the most persistently difficult areas, for their considerate parking. No vehicles blocked the way and the bin lorry crew reported it was the best they had ever seen it.