PEOPLE power is being harnessed in a bid to combat the menace of dog fouling in a County Durham village. The innovative approach from residents of Langley Park, near Durham, is being monitored by the Keep Britain Tidy campaign and could be used elsewhere.
Dog owners who buy food from any of the shops in Langley Park will be offered a pack of poop-scoop bags, with the slogan “Your Dog’s Business is Everybody’s Business”.
Villagers are also being urged to shop those pet owners who continue to let their dogs foul pavements, under a scheme organised by local community group We Are Langley Park.
Group secretary Julie Eze said: “People are understandably hesitant to confront owners who allow their dogs to foul the pavement.
“But with every shop participating, and fines being issued, we hope the culture will change and those that still allow their dogs to mess on the footpath will be forced to mend their ways.
“If people are getting the message every time they buy dog food it should sink in.” We Are Langley Park chairman, Cameron Gordon, added: “Now there is no excuse for leaving dog poo on the path. Those that do so will be under increasing pressure to change their behaviour.
“The We Are Langley Park website now allows residents to report those who do not pick up after their pet. The results will be passed on anonymously to Durham County Council’s neighbourhood wardens, who will be in a better position to issue £80 fines.
“Dog mess is a blight on any village, including Langley Park. Durham County Council do issue bags for owners to pick up their litter, but we believe bringing them to the attention of all dog owners in the very shops where they buy their pet food will get the message across loud and clear.”
Mr Gordon, a company director of Dean Street, Langley Park, said: “We Are Langley Park was established to improve the village and make it a better place to live.
“Our aim is to recruit 2% of the village population (80 people) to see if we can transform the place we live into a place we love.
“We Are Langley Park is not your traditional voluntary group.
“It is for individuals that want to do what they can, in their own time, in their own way, with their own friends, to make Langley Park a cleaner, greener and more pleasant place to live, work or visit.”