Dog owners warned to clean up after graves fouled in cemetery

Dog owners are being asked to clear up after their pets at Bury St Edmunds cemetery or face prosecution.

The problem of dog fouling of the site has been on the rise causing distress for those visiting their loved ones to find dog mess on the graves themselves.

Visitors are also being asked to help catch the culprits by providing information in confidence that aid investigations.

Signs at the cemetery gates, which is looked after by West Suffolk Council, ask those visiting with dogs, to keep them on a short lead and to clear up after them.

All open spaces in the district are covered by Public Space Protection Orders, which makes it an offence to allow dog fouling. The penalty can be as much as £1,000.

However, the signage also makes it clear that the cemetery is not for use as a recreational space. There is alternative amenity space for exercise in the vicinity.

The cemetery is locked at night, so the fouling is occurring in daylight hours.

Robert Everitt, cabinet member for Communities, said: “This is not only unhygienic but is causing distress to those visiting their loved ones. It also means taxpayers are picking up the cost of clearing it up. Most dog owners are responsible and pick up after their pets and we are warning those that don’t that they will face a fine. We are also asking for intelligence so we can approach individuals who may be responsible to stop it. We cannot police the cemetery full time and information passed on to staff will help us be there when we think the problem is occurring.

“We are aware that people use the cemetery as a cut through and as part of a circular dog walking route. There is no problem with that if they clean up after their pets.

“If anyone sees fouling taking place in the cemetery, we ask they call our customer services team in confidence on 01284 757320 and provide details which can help us prevent it happening again.”

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