NEWTOWNABBEY Council is offering support to community groups and residents wanting to stamp out the scourge of dog fouling on the borough’s streets.
As part of the authority’s commitment to tackling the problem it is hoping to establish a network of ‘Dog Watch’ groups in the borough to act as the “eyes and ears” of the community to help identify offenders.
These groups will help tackle dog fouling in their own area while also helping the council provide a highly visible and prompt response to concerns raised about the problem.
Enforcement Officer Ryan Johnston said: “The Dog Watch Scheme is an opportunity for local residents to come together and help tackle dog fouling.
“The council will provide residents with high visibility Dog Watch vests, a supply of dog waste bags and information leaflets for dog walkers.
“In addition, Dog Watch signs and anti-fouling pavement markings will be placed on the footpaths in these problem areas.
“Already we have been working with the residents of Straid and it’s been a great success.
“Residents have been acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, working with the council to identify offenders.
“We want to make it clear that the council will take the strongest possible action against the irresponsible minority who continue to deface the borough and we will not tolerate this thoughtless anti-social behaviour.”
Straid Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, Norman Ramsay added: “The residents of Straid welcome the council’s pilot scheme to tackle the ongoing problem of dog fouling.
“While the majority of dog owners are responsible there are those in society who are irresponsible and need to be held to account for leaving their dog’s mess on our streets.
“Hopefully the implementation of the new initiative together with the proposed increase of the fixed penalty to £80 will go some way to encouraging them to do so.
“I would take this opportunity to thank Newtownabbey Borough Council’s enforcement team for their co-operation and interest.”
For further information about forming a Dog Watch Group in your area, contact the council on 9034 0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.