City bosses have been getting hot under the collar after their latest attempt to clean our streets was branded "farcical". Bosses want the city's housing officers to keep a photographic record of all tenants' dogs, together with pet's name, age, breed, colour, sex and a written description of each animal.
The 'dugshot' (dog mugshot) policy, adopted by Drumchapel Housing Cooperative and encouraged by the council, is intended to allow enforcement officers to identify dogs who foul on the city's streets. The officers have often complained that dog walkers frequently use hats and scarves to disguise themselves, making it difficult to identify them and trace them back to a housing association's property.
Attention now, though, is turning to the dogs themselves, and council bosses hope a doggie photo database will allow Clean Glasgow staff to check photographs of dogs against CCTV stills to help identify irresponsible owners. Offending dog owners will face a fine and possibly risk losing their homes in the crackdown.
A council executive spokesman said:
"[Photographic] animal registers are another weapon in the battle to change people’s habits and force them to act responsibly."
Nick Pickles, a civil liberties activist, branded the plans over-the-top:
"While it may seem farcical, the serious implications of this kind of surveillance cannot be understated. It is a grossly disproportionate response to the issue to adopt the kind of surveillance not seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall to tackle dog fouling.
It's hardly surprising that between managing these databases of pet mugshots and hiding in hedges taking surveillance photographs the council struggle to find the time to clean the streets."
Since the beginning of August, 109 £40 fixed penalty notices have been issued in the city for dog fouling as part of action designed to reduce the 10 tons of dog mess the council clears every day.