Crossing the White Line

Many people love dogs, but nobody likes dogs that foul public recreation fields, and few dog owners would not support fines for dog owners that don’t clear up after them.

Paul Southcombe and Judy Latimer took their dogs for a walk on a public recreation space in Plymouth. They were suddenly accosted by two heavy-set young men in hoodies. The men demanded identities and dates of birth. They claimed to be Plymouth dog wardens, but they had no uniform and no visible identity badges.

Paul and Judy tried to leave, but the men pursued close behind. They accusing them of a crime and, when one of them made a phone call and was informed of her name, he taunted Judy for supposed troublemaking. They followed the pair for over two hours. When Paul and Judy entered a café, they followed. One stood guard outside the ladies’ toilet while Judy was inside. They even followed them into a doctor’s surgery when Paul, who has a heart condition, felt ill at the experience. It took an attendance by Devon and Cornwall Police to detach Plymouth’s Stasi dog wardens from the pensioners.

What was the crime committed by Paul and Judy? Dog fouling? No; their dogs had crossed a white line.

Join us for this extraordinary interview, which demonstrates the brutal power of a contemporary British city council and its enforcement agents. The discussion also reveals how the same municipal authority, which is also the local government covering UK Column’s office, surreptitiously took control of land freely given for the enjoyment of all local residents, to make nice money from fining the unwary dog walker.