Those of a sensitive nature should switch to another post without reading further. My return to Thanet from R &R was marked by two events in quick succession as I unloaded into the house; firstly defecated on by a seagull and secondly, picked up something nasty on my shoe. An ongoing problem in Thanet is the number of anti-social dog owners and letters to the local press on the subject probably exceed moans about TDC.
Dog-pooh; dog-poop; dog-muck; dog-shit; dog-crap; dog-stool; dog-turd; dog-foul; dog-faeces; dog-excrement or 'barker's nests' as ECR so delicately calls piles of the stuff, can be found on our pavements, grass verges, playing fields and parks. The specimen above is a Dane Park dog-turd.
It's comforting to know that Cllr Shirley Tomlinson and her dedicated team of Dog Wardens are on the case with the number of owners fined going up from 38 in 2006/7 to 44 in 2007/8. 9 owners were fined in February this year alone and that appears to be the tip of the dog-stool.
I have no problem with dog-wardens catching anti-social owners in the act of not clearing up but we all need to be aware that TDC may also be snooping on us in more sophisticated ways. According to The Office of The Surveillance Commissioner, in 2007, Councils made 12, 494 applications for 'directed' surveillance under The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). This disgraceful piece of legislation to empower all arms of the state and not just police and security services, to snoop on citizens was of course intended to counter terrorism.
So if TDC applies under RIPA they can track your movements; obtain phone records; details (but not contents) of your e-mail traffic and full details on all web-sites you log on to. Is TDC using these powers and if so for what criminal and terrorist activity? Or are they, like other Councils, using RIPA powers to catch those responsible for allowing their dogs to crap on the pavement. With 9 dog-fouling fines in one month, I wonder if they are?
I would rather have mountains of the stuff on pavements than have Council employees using RIPA powers to snoop on us all. After all, we can do what Lord Brockett did recently; post it back through the offending owner's door!
What do you think?
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