A woman has slammed a council’s reviewing system after claiming she was ‘unfairly fined’ for not picking up someone else’s dog’s poo.
Rebekah Watts took her five-month-old puppy Lola to Pets at Home in Newark, in Nottinghamshire, to pick up some stuff they needed.
She took the dog around the back of the store for a wee but was stopped by a warden before she could go inside.
The warden made Rebekah follow her back to where the dog had gone for a wee.
Rebekah says she tried to tell the warden that her puppy had only done a wee but the warden pointed out some poo on a nearby spot of grass.
Rebekah denied it had been her dog’s poo, insisting that she always cleans up after her pet.
But the warden did not believe her and Rebekah was issued with a fine.
Rebekah later appealed the fine but was told her only option was to go to the magistrates’ court.
‘It may seem petty but it’s so frustrating because it had nothing to do with me,’ she told the Newark Advertiser.
Then, Rebekah found out that her ticket was not reviewed by Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Instead, the council had teamed up with the private company Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement (WISE).
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Chairman of the council’s leisure and environment committee, Roger Jackson, said the council had banded with WISE for one year.
The partnership is supposed to increase the number of wardens checking that people are picking up their dogs’ poo.
Rebekah said: ‘Don’t get me wrong, I totally support the new partnership as where I live in Morton and Fiskerton there aren’t a lot of bins and you see dog mess all the time. It’s awful people don’t pick their waste up.’
But Rebekah believes it should not be up to WISE to review the fines issued by its own wardens because it is a ‘conflict of interest’.
However, Mr Jackson insists that while WISE’s performance is regularly monitored by the council, it is not based on fine targets.
Eventually, Rebekah just paid the fine.
She said: ‘I didn’t do this crime but I didn’t want to go to court. If the judge believed the warden over me, I would have a criminal record and get an £1,000 fine.’
The council said in a statement: ‘We urge any resident who has any concerns to make a representation to WISE in the first instance and then, if there is no resolution, to challenge the ticket in court.’.
Metro.co.uk has contacted WISE for comment.
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