Dawn patrols to target dog-fouling in East Yorkshire towns
DAWN patrols are planned to catch dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets.
Wardens have not revealed exactly where they will be or when they will be out and about.
But routes being targeted from next week are likely to include dog fouling hotspots in Bridlington, Beverley and Goole.
Complaints about dog fouling in those areas have risen significantly in the past two years.
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East Riding Council hopes to enlist the public's help and make it socially unacceptable for people not to clear up after their pets.
Environment control manager Dave Howliston said: "We want to have a bit of a purge that week.
"The aim of the dawn patrol is to see if we can encourage people to clean up after their pets.
"People sometimes forget that they need to clean up in parks and places like that because that's where the kiddies are playing.
"At the end of the day people need to clean up after their dogs if they are in any area where people have access to."
As part of Dog Fouling Week, which runs from Monday, dog wardens backed up by enforcement teams will out on patrol across the East Riding.
Fines of £75 will be handed out to offenders and failure to pay could mean an appearance in court.
Councillor Jackie Cracknell, of community partnerships, said: "Dog Fouling Week is not about springing surprises on dog-walkers.
"It is about promoting responsible dog-ownership so all residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty of East Yorkshire without having to mind where they are treading."
The council received 509 complaints about dog-fouling last year, compared with 429 in 2011 and 386 in 2010.
Mr Howliston says the increase is at least partly attributable to people being more willing to complain about dog walkers not cleaning up. He said: "I would certainly not suggest people put themselves in harm's way but we can try to change people's behaviour.
"The more social pressure, the more chance there is of people being caught."
The task of catching people is so tricky only three or four fixed penalty notices were issued last year.
The problem lies in witnessing a dog fouling incident and witnessing the owner failing to clean up after it.
But among those caught last year was a Bridlington man who has also been prosecuted for non-payment of his fine.
Mr Howliston says there is a definite willingness to prosecute, even relating to incidents in open countryside, away from built areas.
He said: "There are some lovely walks out there.
"When you're trudging up those walks the last thing you want to be doing is standing in dog muck.
"People still have to clean up after their pets in the open countryside."
To report an incident of dog fouling, visit /www. eastriding.gov.uk/environ ment/pests-and-dogs/dogs and follow the link.