Totnes Rugby Club and South Hams District Councillors are furious with a spate of persistent anti-social behaviour at Borough Park.

rugby ball

The issues range from broken glass and litter to dog fouling and petty vandalism. The growing problem is putting players and members of the public at risk.

More than 70 children from the age of seven and adults both male and female use the pitch at Borough Park for rugby training and games. Although dogs are forbidden from the pitch when sport is in play, the club have seen an increase in fouling at other times.

Coupled with broken glass and other dangerous items, concern is growing that a player or child could be seriously injured.

Cllr Robert Vint, Ward Member for Totnes, said: "There really is no excuse for failing to clean up after your dog. If you're walking your dog after dark, have it on a lead and take a torch so that you can see when it stops. As for litter, this space is open for everyone to use and enjoy - please use the bins or take your litter home if they're full."

JT Williams (Bunny), Chairman of Totnes Rugby Club said: "We're fortunate to have a great space here in Totnes, and lots of youngsters and adults who want to use it to get into rugby, but it really does spoil it when every time we arrive we have to carefully walk the pitch back and forth to make sure that it's safe. It's upsetting to see behaviour like this putting our players and their families at risk."

Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Executive Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services at SHDC, said: "Following the introduction of the Public Space Protection Orders, dog fouling is now dealt with under antisocial behaviour laws.

"This means our operatives can issue an on-the-spot fine of £100 for anyone who fails to clean up after their dog. This can rise to £1,000 if taken to court.

"In the coming months, our officers will be increasing patrols, and if we catch you allowing your dog to foul and not clearing up after it, we'll fine you."

A fixed-penalty fine can also be issued if evidence of the date, time and the identity of an offender is given.

Borough Park and the rugby pitch are owned by South Hams District Council. The council and rugby club are working together to develop a formal lease.

Cllr Gilbert added: "If a member of the public observes anyone not clearing up after their dog, and they have evidence and their details, please send it to us. You can report dog fouling, litter and anti-social behaviour on our website, 24 hours a day, at www.southhams.gov.uk/reportit