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Colourful approach to combat dog fouling in Stratford

DOG mess is becoming an endemic problem on the streets of Stratford – but there’s a new and colourful weapon in the fight to combat it.

An increase in reports of dog fouling during the pandemic has prompted a blunt response from Stratford District Council.

Florescent yellow paint is now being used to highlight dog mess in the town, accompanied by a graphic image and the stencilled message, “Clean it up”.

By highlighting problem areas, the council hopes to educate – or shame – dog owners into being more responsible and picking up after their animals.

The idea behind the tactic is that it embarrasses the offenders and indicates that someone may be watching.

It has previously been used in other parts of the district and resulted in reduced dog fouling in those areas.

It is thought that the increase in reported incidents of dog fouling may be because more people have welcomed dogs into their lives while working from home during the pandemic, or that fouling is more noticeable on quieter streets.

Cllr Anne Parry, regulatory portfolio holder for the district council, said: “We have been stencilling the pavement in problem fouling areas for a couple of years using stencils saying ‘Pick it up’ and ‘Bin the bag’.

“The paint is temporary and will eventually be washed away. The aim is that drawing attention to the fouling will hopefully make perpetrators aware that they may be being watched and that their dog fouling is having an impact.

“The scheme has been successful in a number of problem areas across the district and, whilst there is not the resource to do this for every hotspot, we do target particular areas when complaints arise and there is a paved public surface for us to spray.

“Unfortunately, the size of our district means that we can’t be everywhere all of the time, and it’s likely that a number of dog owners are using the cover of darkness to leave their dogs’ mess on pavements.

“We have now issued a new Public Spaces Protection (Dog Fouling) Order 2020 (PSPO) and the increased fixed penalty notice of £100 for this offence.

“Moreover, it’s obviously very unpleasant to step in dog mess and it can be a vector for many unpleasant diseases. Even one dog fouling in an area over a period of time has a significant impact and we would urge people to be responsible dog owners and bag it and bin it.”

In Stratford, the churchyard at Holy Trinity church has become a particular area of concern. Last month a committee at the town council discussed the idea of putting new signage in the v

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