CCTV used in bid to catch offending dogs

Council has received complaints about dog fouling.
Council has received complaints about dog fouling.

Enforcement officers have conducted patrols around Ballyclare after receiving reports of dog fouling in the town.

The move came after complaints were received by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council about dog mess being left in residents’ gardens.

Commenting on the issue, a spokesperson for the local authority said: “The council have been aware of a complaint from a resident in the Henryville area, initially received in November 2017, when concerns were raised about dog fouling in residents’ gardens.

“Further reports were received in February and June this year.

In response to concerns raised, our enforcement officers have carried out a number of scheduled patrols in the area, both during the day and in the evening time.

“Patrols took place throughout December 2017 and again in February and June of this year. At the time of the patrols, while a number of dog walkers were observed in the area, none failed to pick up after their dogs and no offences were detected.”

The spokesperson added: “Further to this, a mobile CCTV camera was installed in one resident’s home, in an attempt to monitor the situation. During the seven-day monitoring period, we were unable to obtain any evidence of offences, from the footage recorded.

“A number of signs have also been placed in the area, in order to raise awareness and deter dog owners from failing to clean up after their dogs.

“While our officers appreciate that the vast majority of owners are responsible, we would remind all dog walkers to be mindful, clean up after their pets and ensure that are not allowed to stray unaccompanied.

“Where residents can pinpoint specific times where dogs are being permitted to foul, we will target patrols accordingly. Our enforcement officers strive to improve the cleanliness of the borough and hope to carry out some further educational campaigns in relation to dog fouling in the near future.”

Anyone who witnesses a dog fouling offence is urged to report this to the council, providing as much information as possible, such as the breed, colour and size of the dog and whether it was straying or being walked by someone.

Offenders can be reported by calling Environmental Health on 028 9034 0160.