Dog owners who take their pets out for a night-time stroll could be in for a shock as the council unveils new glow-in-the-dark posters targeting dog fouling across the Daventry district.
The posters bearing the uncompromising slogan ‘we’re watching you’ and a pair of glaring eyes are being put up in dog fouling hotspots after Daventry District Council (DDC) signed up to the Keep Britain Tidy initiative.
...a small hard-core of dog-owners continue to fail to pick up after their dogs, often using cover of darkness to hide the offending behaviour.Mike Warren, health and housing portfolio holder on Daventry District Council
The posters were designed in response to research by Keep Britain Tidy which suggests the majority of dog fouling occurs at night.
Dog fouling dropped by an average of 46 per cent in the 20 areas of the country which took part in a pilot campaign last year.
The new initiative follows the success of DDC’s dog fouling spray paint scheme, under which volunteers from parishes and community groups were provided with cans of brightly-coloured biodegradable paint to spray on dog mess, in order to shame irresponsible owners into clearing up.
Brixworth Parish Council saw excellent results from taking part in the spray painting initiative and has now put up the new ‘We’re Watching You’ posters in dog fouling hotspots in the village.
Parish councillor Sandra Moxon said: “The results from the spraying were remarkable. When we started we counted 46 incidents of fouling on The Ashway Playing Field alone – within a few days of spraying it was down to four.
“As a Parish Council we’re committed to working with DDC and its contractors to tackle this issue. We’ve put up these posters because they carry a really strong message to thoughtless dog owners: we are watching you and it is not acceptable to allow your pet to spoil our beautiful village.”
The new poster campaign and the spray paint scheme run alongside a number of other DDC initiatives to tackle dog fouling, including regular patrols of hotspots and dog action days in badly-fouled areas.
The council is also reminding people it is an offence not to pick up after their pet, punishable by a £75 fine and even court action in some instances.
Councillor Mike Warren, health and housing portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “Our spray paint initiative met with a very positive response and the volunteers who take part are telling us it is having a really positive effect on the amount of dog fouling in their communities.
“However many of them are also telling us that a small hard-core of dog-owners continue to fail to pick up after their dogs, often using cover of darkness to hide the offending behaviour.
“These glow-in-the-dark posters specifically target that problem and we hope we will see the same results as the local authorities who took part in the trial.”
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton said: “We are delighted that Daventry District Council is joining us for this campaign.
“Our research tells us that people see dog fouling as, by far, the most unacceptable and dirtiest type of litter.
“This campaign has been proven to make a difference and encourage the minority of dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets to do the right thing.”
People are urged to report dog fouling to the Environmental Improvement Team at Daventry District Council online at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/online or by phoning 01327 871100.