PROBLEM pet-owners who let their animals poo unchecked in the streets of Littlehampton are kicking up a real stink for the town’s neighbourhood watch.
Members of the Littlehampton Neighbourhood Watch Association have urged Arun District Council to react ‘positively’ to the mounting problem of poo tarnishing the seaside streets of the town.
Mike Cullern, chairman of the association, said the issue of dogs fouling in the town was a perennial problem that the neighbourhood watch was constantly trying to tackle, with River Ward being a particular trouble spot.
Mr Cullern said: “We recently conducted a junior neighbourhood watch club scheme at River Beach Primary School and one of the most frequent complaints made by the pupils and parents was of the amount of dog faeces spread around the reception/entrance area of the school by the simple cause of pupils, parents and visitors treading in dog mess when accessing the school from nearby streets.
“Some of the problems may be explained by the animal having an ‘accident’ without the owner noticing, but on the majority of occasions the cause is that dog owners are not clearing up after their pets. There are other factors to consider such as stray dogs, night-time dog walkers and of course persistent offenders who have always let their dogs foul in any area in complete disregard for other persons.”
The neighbourhood watch recently launched its own Cleaner Streets campaign in the town.
It has produced about 150 posters, which have been placed in Littlehampton and surrounding areas. They aim to highlight the issue and encourage pet owners to bag and bin their animal’s mess.
Mr Cullern said that previous efforts have had a noticeable impact.
Last year the group issued 2,500 free poop scoops to residents over a three-month period, which lead to a decrease in the number of dog fouling reports.
Mr Cullern added that a ‘disappointing’ lack of dog bins in the town was not helping the situation.
He said: “It is of some surprise that both local and district councillors accept the current situation. The current dog fouling problem reflects badly upon the town and district, probably affecting visitor numbers and consequently traders’ turnover.
“Councillors should be reacting positively to the problem. Perhaps they should not be employing more consultants but employing full-time dog wardens to enforce the local by-laws in an attempt to positively resolve the issue.”
Mr Cullern is now appealing to the public and businesses to help sponsor the campaign.
He added: “As a group we are committed to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour throughout the town and district. We firmly believe in the restoration of community spirit and dog fouling can be classed as an act of anti-social behaviour by the owner.”
Local authorities have the power to enforce dog fouling by-laws and fine people.
Mr Cullern added that ignorance of the rules, in the eyes of the law, was no excuse.
To help the group with sponsorship, call Mr Cullern on 01903 717609.