A DARLINGTON man has called for a hefty increase in the fines issued to dog owners who do not collect their pets’ droppings.

David Reed, of Wilton Drive, contacted The Northern Echo after becoming frustrated when a pile of dog dirt was left uncollected on a footpath at the end of his drive.

He said: “This pile was left between 6pm and 9pm on Friday evening.

“The owner of this dogs pile is totally irresponsible, lazy and effectively had no intention of cleaning up.

“It's about time dog licences were re-introduced at a figure that would make it worthwhile for the council to collect and the paltry fine when imposed increased because there is no deterrent.

“This type of anti-social behavior by dog owners is totally unacceptable.

“The footpath in question has a high footfall during the week with parents and others taking their young children to the local primary school, not a pretty sight for them to pass.”

Mr Reed, who is not a dog owner, said he was left with no choice but to clean up the mess himself.

Last month (January), Darlington Borough urged pet owners to take more responsibility.

The council’s Street Scene teams and dog wardens have reported an increase in complaints about the issue.

A fixed penalty fine of £75 can be issued to people who fail to pick up after their pets, which can be increased to £1,000 if the case goes to court.

Reports of dog fouling can be made anonymously, by calling 01325-38877, emailing dishthedirt@darlington.gov.uk or visiting darlington.gov.uk/reportit