A council crackdown on dog-fouling and fly-tipping across Allerdale has led to a “record number” of fines being issued since April.

The borough’s enforcement team have ticketed more than 40 people, doling out penalty charges of up to £400 for “environmental crimes”.

Officers have made a concerted effort to target hotspots as part of the authority’s key priority to ensure the region remains clean and green.

And the team has one message to those who fly-tip, drop litter or fail to pick up after their dog: if we catch you, we’ll fine you.

The last nine months has seen 30 penalties issued for dog fouling alone, with excuses for failing to pick it up ranging from “I don’t have a bag”, “kids don’t play here” and even “I want the kids to walk in it”.

Fines can only be issued if an officer sees the offence being committed. And so the team has been using intelligence from the council’s ‘myAllerdale’ reporting service to pinpoint problem areas and make regular enforcement visits.

Councillor George Kemp, executive member with responsibility for Environmental Services, said: “This is excellent work by the enforcement team and is part of our commitment to keep Allerdale looking clean and tidy.

“Dog-fouling, litter, and fly-tipping top the list of things people complain about to me and it is something which really annoys many residents. So the message is clear: when we catch you, you’ll pay for it.”

The council has said that there is “no excuse” for fly-tipping because items can be disposed of via the council’s bulky waste collection service, and its “crunch” service.

Unwanted items can be disposed of at household waste recycling centres in Maryport, Workington, and Wigton, as well as other parts of Cumbria. And many charity collection services are available.

The council is also reminding residents that they have a duty of care when disposing of waste.

This means that if they use someone else to dispose of their rubbish, it needs to be carried out by a registered waste carrier.

Otherwise, if the waste is classed as “fly-tipped” and the council can trace where the material originated it will result in a fine for the resident.

Businesses also have a duty to dispose of their waste correctly too and should not use the recycling sites dotted around the borough which are for residents.