NOT a single person has been fined or prosecuted for failing to clean up their own dog’s mess across Somerset in two years.

It comes despite the problem of dog fouling appearing to be piling up with one town council recently declaring the situation a "serious health risk."

While Somerset Council is introducing new protection orders to prohibit dogs from public places, including parts of Minehead beach, it has failed to hit a single offender with a fine since at least March 2022.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, Somerset Council revealed it had received 167 complaints in the past two years over dog mess, and in the same period issued no fixed penalty notices to offending dog owners.

Somerset Council says it has a team of enforcement officers and dog wardens who investigate and enforce environmental offences, including dog fouling. They say “fixed penalty notices are used to tackle environmental crime and change offending behaviour” and that they operate a “zero tolerance policy.”

But Lyn Partridge-Webber, founder of the Wellington Action Group for Dogs, said “there is no deterrent” for irresponsible dog owners. Speaking to the Wellington Weekly, she said: “Apparently the dog warden has to witness an offence to issue a fine. The people who don’t clear up are aware of this and know they won’t be fined.

“I haven’t seen a dog warden in five years and I’m always out and about. Dog mess is getting noticeably worse in the town because people know there is no deterrent at all.

“We have nowhere to go after we find dog mess, the police don’t want to know and the council doesn’t have the manpower to investigate. We had one instance caught on a doorbell camera and we told everybody but nothing happened.”

Lyn said offenders should be hit with big fines to send a message that dog fouling is not acceptable. She said: “I would like to say offenders would be fined, but we know they won’t, and until somebody is heavily fined nobody is going to take any notice.”

Somerset Council was approached for comment.