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Dog poo crackdown in Ormesby St Margaret

PUBLISHED: 14:20 15 March 2011

"We will be watching," warning from council.

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CCTV cameras are set to be used to catch dirty dog owners in a tough new clampdown at one of the borough's busiest playing fields.

Parish councillors in Ormesby St Margaret say they have been left with few options thanks to persistent offenders who allow their dogs to foul the recreation ground in Station Road, posing a health hazard to the dozens of youngsters risking sliding tackles and dives on the faeces-flecked field every week.

Parish council chairman Geoff Freeman said at the council’s meeting on Monday that it was time to get tough and get evidence to put a lid on the growing problem. He was also consulting with solicitors to get a legal letter drawn up.

Although it was always worse in the winter when irresponsible dog owners could sneak out under-cover of darkness the problem had become so bad that almost all the village’s pathways and lanes spidering out between households were affected.

That owners allowed their dogs to foul pavements was bad enough, he said, adding that it was even more disgusting they should let them run free at the recreation ground where they knew children would be playing.

The two vandal-proof infra-red cameras likely to cost around £1600 will be triggered by movement and be able to record in the dark.

Mr Freeman added: “The parish council is sick to the back teeth with irresponsible dog owners. We are going on the offensive. We have a duty of care at the playing field. It is disgusting. It is only a minority and in the summer the problem goes away. It is much worse when we have the dark nights but it has just got ridiculous, it is a total health hazard.”

Among those likely to be heartened by the crackdown is the council’s contractor who has indicated he can no longer cut some grass verges, particularly the one linking Station Road and the church yard, because of the massive amount of dog excrement.

Among the systems being considered is one that has numberplate recognition to catch people who simply pull up to the recreation ground and let the dog out.

The “excellent quality images” will also help to tackle anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking.

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