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Canterbury City Council fights dog poo with glow-in-the-dark 'we're watching you' posters

By Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Large glow-in-the-dark posters are being rolled out in Canterbury in an attempt to clamp down on dog fouling.

Canterbury City Council has announced it will be installing the large posters - which feature a pair of staring eyes, and the words "Thoughtless dog owners: we’re watching you" - in dog fouling hotspots across the Canterbury district in the coming weeks.

The Orwellian signs will also be glow-in-the-dark, so as to target dog owners after dark.

The posters are being rolled out in coming weeks. Picture: Canterbury City Council (7793327)
The posters are being rolled out in coming weeks. Picture: Canterbury City Council (7793327)

The city council has teamed up with Keep Britain Tidy - which designed the posters. They have already been rolled out elsewhere in the country, where the city council says they have been shown to reduce dog fouling by up to 77%.

'Dog fouling is at its worst around dawn and dusk. Research shows these posters really work' - Cllr Neil Baker

Cllr Neil Baker, chair of the city council’s community committee, said: “The vast majority of owners do the right thing and clean up after their dogs.

“But there is a small minority that don’t, and we know people are less likely to pick up after their dogs when they feel they are not being watched. Dog fouling is at its worst around dawn and dusk.

“Research shows these posters really work and persuade people to change their behaviour.

"They also remind those who go to the trouble of bagging their dog’s poo and then hang it on bushes or trees, that they can dispose of bags in any bin not just dog poo bins.”

Cllr Neil Baker with one of the posters. Picture: Canterbury City Council (7793329)
Cllr Neil Baker with one of the posters. Picture: Canterbury City Council (7793329)

A number of roads in the Wincheap area will be among the first to have posters put up, after the council received a large number of complaints about dog fouling in the area.

The "we’re watching you" posters are part of the council’s long-running Love Where We Live campaign, aimed at tackling littering, dog fouling, graffiti and flytipping.

Last autumn, the council distributed 10,000 free biodegradable dog poo bags across the district as a back-up option for those dog owners who ran out while walking their pets.

Cllr Baker added: “Catching those who leave dog waste on the ground in the act is the enforcement equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack, which is why last year we added the power to challenge dog owners to show they had the means to clean up after their animals.

“We hope this new approach will persuade the irresponsible owners to do the right thing and not force us to use council taxpayers’ money to try and catch them.”

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