NEW POWERS to clamp down on nuisance dogs are set to be unleashed on irresponsible pet owners in Oxford.

Fines for dog fouling will be increased from £50 to £80 and will be enforceable on more city streets.

Park wardens and city council officers will also be able to fine those who have been told to put pets on a lead or keep them out of children’s play areas.

Oxford city councillor John Tanner said council staff had also been asked to investigate further measures.

Mr Tanner, executive board member for a cleaner Oxford, said: “Some people still let their dogs foul all over the place and it makes it miserable for everyone else.

“There’s nothing worse than getting it on your shoe, except perhaps getting on the wheels of a pushchair.

“We intend to stop people making a mess of our city.”

Mr Tanner said officers had been asked to look at separate measures to tackle the issue of dangerous dogs.

A number of Oxford residents have been attacked by dogs in the past two years.

Graham Eagle, the council’s public health team leader, said the powers were needed to eliminate ‘quirks’ in the current policy.

At present, the council’s fine for littering is £80, but only £50 for dog fouling. In the last year, six dog owners have been fined, compared to two in the previous four years.

Pavements on roads with a 40mph speed limit or more are not covered by legislation and although dogs are banned from play parks, owners flouting the order cannot be fined.

The new powers would resolve each of these issues.

The scheme is set to cost the council more than £2,700 for new signs and includes £30 to provide leads to homeless dog owners.

Mr Eagle said officers would also look at limiting the number of dogs that can be walked by one person.

He said: “There have been problems with dog walkers taking out five or six at a time.

“These have been reported to parks officers.

“Other authorities have limited the number of dogs one person can be in control of.”

The council will consult park users, parish councils, the police, the RSPCA and others before implementing the new powers, available under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Earlier this month, the council adopted powers to fine children as young as 10 for littering.