Drop them in it!

SCOOP The Poop is starting to make a difference to our community, with less dog fouling being reported since the Gazette’s campaign launched three weeks ago – but there’s still some way to go.

Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman Carlo Biagioni said there had been a marked decrease in the amount of mess on the town’s main streets and car parks since our mission began, but there are still a few irresponsible owners who are causing a blight in quieter areas.

And so we’re appealing to all of our readers to drop the offenders in it.

We’ve been backed by county councillors and traders in our efforts to stamp out dog dirt on the streets of our towns and villages, but we now need the help of the public to report any incidents of fouling they witness.

Mr Biagioni said: “Since the Gazette’s campaign started, I have noticed it has had quite an affect. There doesn’t seem to be as much dog mess around the town centre, so people are taking notice.”

But the town’s county councillor, Gordon Castle, said one lane had been turned into a dog toilet, sparking a furious reaction from residents over the sheer volume of mess being left behind.

He was contacted by householders over the state of the rear lane between Percy Terrace and Lisburn Street, which is littered with piles of poo.

“It really is appalling,” he said. “I have contacted neighbourhood services at the county council to clean up the lane and make sure it is on the dog warden’s radar.

“What we really need, however, is to catch those responsible. Someone clearly hasn’t got the message that fouling like this is completely unacceptable. I can understand that many people are reluctant to challenge dog owners, but it is possible to simply note the time and place of the incident, a description of the owner and the type of dog and report it to the council anonymously.

“While many people respond to appeals like the Gazette’s, there are others who frankly have to feel the weight of the law before they get the message.”

And in Rothbury, Coun Steven Bridgett has urged people to name and shame offenders to help put a stop to the filthy habits of a few lazy owners.

Coun Bridgett – who is set to become the first councillor in Britain to be able to issue £75 fixed-penalty tickets to offenders – said: “I’m asking residents to come forward via the Gazette campaign or to myself and name the worst offenders, where they are walking their dogs and at what times, so we can target those areas.

“I have already been given a number of names, which I will be passing on to the authorities. We need local people to get involved.”

If you have information about persistent dog-fouling, you can email northumberland.gazette@northeast-press.co.uk or call us on 01665 602234.

Northumberland County Council also has a reporting line on 0845 600 6400.