WISH you were in court? Well dirty dog owners might be thanks to the latest weapon in the war against dog fouling - a seaside postcard.

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A zero-tolerance crackdown in the urban heart of Great Yarmouth is encouraging residents to tell on people who fail to pick after their pets via a freepost card being handed out by the council.

Instead of the buxom blondes, double entendres or scenic views that usually bring cheer the postcards depict a footprint covered in dog’s mess and a dog being allowed to do its business.

And the space usually left blank for holiday highlights about the food or weather is asking for anonymous details about mucky culprits at large in the area.

The idea has come from environmental rangers at Great Yarmouth Borough Council keen to find a novel way of getting to grips with the worsening problem that is the cause of much local frustration.

Hundreds of the postcards are being handed out and dropped through letterboxes north of busy Regent Road, where there has been a spike in the number of complaints.

Lee Sutton and Colin Fox whose council wards are affected have put £1000 each of their allocated ward money towards clearing up the problem.

Senior environmental ranger Paul Shucksmith said the seaside postcards were being handed out this week to all members of the public, regardless of whether they had dogs or not.

Backed up by high-visibilty patrols he hoped the crackdown would force a permanent change in behaviour, and that the postcards would encourage people who might otherwise be reluctant to come forward with information.

Rangers will also hand out free bags and stickers, and spread the word about their tough “catch and convict” stance. Their approach is to bypass fixed penalty fines in favour of prosecutions, which deliver a more public message about how seriously the borough deals with offenders and carry a maximum fine of £1000.

Last year 15 people were convicted through the courts with three underway already this year.

He said the idea of the postcards chimed with seaside culture. The aim, he added, was to remind people of their responsibilities and to give them another way to contact the council.

Mr Sutton who represents central and Northgate Ward said there was a growing concern about the mess left by anti-social dog owners not clearing up behind their pets.

Investment of ward money, the allowance each councillor receives to help a project in their ward, will see more patrols by environmental officers twice a day. The rangers will be there to inform and help dog owners but will also be watching for those owners who persistently refuse to clean up after their dogs.

“The majority of dog owners in Great Yarmouth are responsible who clean up after their dog has made a mess,” said Mr Sutton. “Unfortunately a minority leave the pavements soiled. That means everyday events such as the school walk or going to the shops can leave people’s shoes soiled by dog poo– not a pleasant thing to clean up.”

“From talking to residents it is clear that they are not prepared to put up with irresponsible dog owners who allow their pets to foul and the borough council will not hesitate to prosecute the offenders. If found guilty they can be fined up to £1,000.”

The environmental rangers will be talking to dog owners and other members of the public in problem areas such as Palgrave, Alderson, Beaconsfield and Kitchener Roads, Oliver Mews and approaches to schools in the area.

They will be handing out stickers asking dog owners to be more careful and thoughtful, as well as free bags for the collection of dog mess.

“The council supplies bins for the bags to be deposited in,” added Mr Fox, whose council ward includes Yarmouth north. “All we are asking is for owners to take a minute or two to clean up and then use the bins. We know some of the problem areas but if people have more concerns please will they contact senior environmental ranger Paul Shucksmith on 01493 846620.

The councillors are both investing £1,000 of their £2,000 annual ward money. In addition, fellow councillor Marie Field, who also represents Central and Northgate Ward, has used her money to tackle dog fouling and littering. Cllr Field’s budget has also funded an additional bin in the ward which is well used by responsible dog owners.

The extra patrols will continue throughout February.

12 comments

  • You know what the other posters say don't you. "Take your litter home with you" perhaps that's what they expect you to do, other than that, it's put it in the normal rubbish bins, which could mean a lot of wheelie bins that are permanently on the pavement outside houses, could end up with little doggie bags in them

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • siouxsie, there's an alleyway near me that has the same problem and a childs play area, there is a council person that comes around to clear up the litter, but he doesn't seem to clear the dog mess up, it is now also appearing along in places, the pavement that runs along my street at the front of my house. As for cats, they do not mess in the street, only in areas where they can cover with mud or grass, ever watch a cat, they will always scrape the surrounding area where they do it, they like to try and bury it, I'm always clearing up after them in my garden and off of my grass, I have so many ruined and bald bits of grass areas. One other question, how do you inform on the people who let their dogs foul if you don't know them or know where they live? Surely if you knew the person, you would mention it, so it's really only strangers you inform on. The pavements are a disgrace everywhere, I walked into the town today and had to go around or step over dog's mess along the pavement from King Street to the town centre.

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    Spooky

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • About time we had a campaign like this in Bungay.

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    First&Last

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Well they have got their work cut out . You cannot make a silk purse out of a pigs ear . KNOW WHAT I MEAN !

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • This is a big problem in Scratby, so why don't the holiday parks issue free dog pooh bags to all those bringing dogs on holiday. We have to keep the cliff top neat and tidy and all local dog owners pick up after their pets yet during the holiday season the cliff top is littered with mess. Maybe some education as well as to what the litter bins are for might not go amiss

    Report this comment

    pam1947

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • An alley way near to my house is often a major challenge to walk down without standing in one of many deposits of poo.....BUT ....my garden that has absolutely no access to any dogs needs daily cleaning of very similar deposits. The area is overrun with what seem to be feral cats. Is the problem solely down to lazy dog owners or are these cats actually the main problem .

    Report this comment

    siouxsie

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • An alley way near to my house is often a major challenge to walk down without standing in one of many deposits of poo.....BUT ....my garden that has absolutely no access to any dogs needs daily cleaning of very similar deposits. The area is overrun with what seem to be feral cats. Is the problem solely down to lazy dog owners or are these cats actually the main problem .

    Report this comment

    siouxsie

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Do these wardens work during the hours of darkness? Does white doggie poo come from guide dogs? Does weekend working attract an hourly rate of time and a turd?

    Report this comment

    Claire Voyant

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • When I was in Croatia they had 3-tier bins, all clearly labelled and well used. The bottom section was for general litter. Above that was a section for bagged dog mess. On this section was a pull-out roll of dog poo bags which I thought was a great idea. Above that was a section for cigarette butts. These bins were placed at very regular intervals along promenades and streets and we were very impressed indeed in how clean Croatia was.They were also checked and emptied regularly.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • What's the betting it won't work.

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    Spooky

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • but where do we bin it? the council took most of our bins away on hamilton road, there has to be a bit of give and take here.

    Report this comment

    calmudownboy

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

  • stand back and wait for it !! the next thing will be "oh" we have to create a new department to cope with all these malicious post cards about people who dont have a dog but have annoyed somebody. still it would lower unemployment in the yarmouth area and get a pat on the back from old davey camaroon .

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

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