JUST four people have been fined by council chiefs for failing to clear up after their dog, the Banbury Cake can reveal.

Cherwell District Council (CDC) last week warned dog owners they faced fines as part of National Poop Scoop Week.

But it fined only two in 2010/11, two in 2011/12, and none so far this year.

The council’s website says it carried out “regular patrols” of blackspots to issue £50 spot fines.

Yet CDC lead member for clean and green Nigel Morris said its staff had to catch dog owners in the act to fine them.

He said: “People are very coy about not clearing it up when there is someone around.

“As soon as they sense somebody else is around, they tend to clear up.

“When the coast is clear they tend to leave, which is really, really annoying.”

He said the council’s dog wardens were “very active” as dog fouling is regularly highlighted as a priority by residents.

The Conservative Banbury Easington councillor said: “The vast majority of people are very responsible.”

The council – which covers Banbury and north Oxfordshire – warned mess could cause severe eye infections and even blindness in humans.

However, it said people “should not tackle dog walkers directly”, but instead report the time and location of fouling to the council.

Dog owners in Spiceball Park, Banbury, said owners had to be responsible for their pets.

Mum-of-two Anna Brodie, 43, said: “It is a big problem, people let them do it on the path, it is pretty grim.

“But I don’t know how you stop it.”

n continued from page 1 Rosina Edwards, 84, said: “I have not seen a warden yet.

“The majority of owners are good, but you get the odd one.”

Son Philip, 49, said: “What can they do? Resources dictate what they can do. Four is not a lot, but how can you police it?”

Joy Williams, 68, said: “It is very difficult to enforce it unless they see the dog do it. It is a hard thing to control.”

Council Labour group leader Les Sibley said residents must report rogue dog owners.

But he said: “The council should be doing a lot more to enforce the regulations.

“If they have the powers, they need to demonstrate they are using those powers.”

Three of the £50 fines were paid and one was prosecuted and fined £100 with £300 costs and a victims’ surcharge of £15.

The council warns dog owners face a fine of up to £2,500 if their case is taken to court.

Council street wardens in Banbury were also given the powers to issue spot fines in a bid to increase prosecutions. A total 14 can issues fines across the Cherwell district.

To report dog fouling, email customer.service@cherwell-dc.gov.uk or call 01295 227007.