Irresponsible pet owners have been warned to be on their guard in Shipston after the town council revealed that the town’s CCTV cameras are being used to identify those who don’t pick up their dog’s mess.
The decision to use the cameras to catch offenders has been made following an increase in the crime over recent weeks as the dark mornings and nights make it more difficult to catch offenders.
In Shipston the town council has tried a number of methods to try and combat the problem, with councillors spraying dog mess with florescent pink paint in the past to highlight the issue.
Local school children have also created posters asking dog owners to take responsibility for their pets, which have been placed in known dog fouling hotspots in the town.
Cllr Faye Ivens said: “This is just another deterrent against dog fouling and if a conviction can be secured somewhere along the line, that will no doubt send a further message.
“Shipston is no better or no worse than any other market town for dog fouling but our town centre contractors have notified us that it is present in areas of the town.
“The other methods we have tried have been quite successful and we have a dog bin on Tilemans Lane with a bag dispenser that is regularly filled up, which is a positive step.”
Cllr Shelagh Saunders, who has been involved in past efforts to combat dog fouling, added: “I think we have this CCTV system and if it can be used to some good for whatever purpose, it’s a good idea.
“In problem areas it could make a difference and if the pictures are clear enough and they can identify an offender, they could be used to secure a conviction. I think our past efforts to stop dog fouling have proved successful, but there will always be a hard-core of people that don’t take the message in, this might be a way to get to them.”
CCTV in the district is monitored at a central hub in Stratford and the district council is currently in the process of upgrading the entire network, at a cost of almost £800,000.
A spokesperson for Stratford District Council confirmed that the CCTV system is being used to monitor the issue in Shipston.
They added that other methods such as conducting patrols and taking witness statements can provide evidence to use in prosecutions too.
The council’s Environmental Protection and Dog Warden also plays a role in combating the problem, working with parish and town councils, placing signage, advising on effective bin locations and patrolling problem areas.
The officer responds to complaints and where appropriate will take enforcement action against irresponsible dog owners