Finsbury dog owner gets fine for leaving pet’s mess

A dog owner now has a criminal record after failing to pay a fine for failing to clear up her pet’s mess – in what Islington Council says is a sign of things to come when its “dog squad” launches next month.

Rayner Bailey, 33, of Southwood Court, Wynyatt Street, Finsbury, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling �181 by Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on April 12 after pleading guilty to breaching a dog control order.

Council officers saw her walk off without scooping up her dog’s mess in Copenhagen Street, Islington, in October last year, and took her to court after she failed to pay an on-the-spot �80 fine.

The council has warned irresponsible dog owners that they will face a much greater risk of being fined when the dedicated 22-strong team takes to the streets next Friday, May 4.


Bram Kainth, Islington Council’s director of public realm, said: “Our dog squad will soon be patrolling and anyone caught will be fined – and if they fail to pay they will be taken to court, as in this case.”

The council has come under fire for splashing out �240,000 on the three-month crackdown. A total of �210,000 is going to the contractor tasked with running the team, which amounts to about �9,500 per officer for a 12-week stint.

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Islington resident Phil Howe, 45, said: “It’s an outrageous amount of spend for a project which could be done in a more cost-effective way by the council’s own officers.

“Why are they paying a contractor so much when they already have enforcement officers out there on the street looking out for litter and abandoned cars? They could be targeting dog poo as well. And the council should have got other contractors to quote for the work who would have done it cheaper.”

Cllr Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for the environment, said: “The costs of running a campaign and training people properly do add up, but the dog squad campaign will cost less than �1 per resident. We want our community to still have pride in its appearance.”