NO FIXED penalty notices were issued for dog-fouling in the South and West Fife area in the last six months.

A total of 60 complaints relating to the problem were received by Fife Council’s safer communities team but no punishments were handed out.

Speaking at the South West Fife area committee where members were given an update, Rosyth councillor Tony Orton expressed disappointment at the situation.

“It is quite significant that there are no dog-fouling penalties,” he said. “There has been an increase in dog-fouling and it is very evident in my little village.

“I would like to think that from the patrols done, at least one, probably more, officers would have seen something happen and issued a fixed penalty.”

Paul Coleman, lead officer (safer communities), told councillors there had been a “slight increase” in the number of dog-fouling reports.

“We have been doing it a little bit more to try and ensure that ways of reporting it is easier so that is maybe part of the reason why more information is in,” he explained.

“It remains a challenge to give people penalties who have committed these offences.

"We require to catch the person in the act or we need evidence from members of the public.

"We often find that when we have approached them for statements, they don’t often wish to proceed and that is a challenge we have to keep trying to overcome.”

Mr Coleman explained that officers were out at different hours of their day in an effort to combat the issue.

“We are carrying out a number of patrols with our own officers and when people see us, they tend to do the right thing,” he added. “We have done high-visibility, patrols in plain clothes and now we have bikes and officers are cycling in some of the hard-to-reach areas.

“I hope some of the messages we are sending out are educating people a little bit better but we accept there is an increase of reports as well. We are trying to be in the right place at the right time.”