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The eyes have it – peering posters are on the look-out for irresponsible dog owners


The eyes have it – peering posters are on the look-out for irresponsible dog owners.

It is estimated that one in every ten dog owners doesn’t pick up after pooch has taken a poo. If that’s you, a new campaign across Cornwall should make you feel more than a little uneasy.

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Cornwall Council has joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy to adopt its award-winning ‘We’re watching you’ poster campaign. The focus is a pair of piercing eyes that actually glow in the dark. And their ‘We’re watching you’ message has been proven to reduce incidents of dog fouling on pavements, parks, paths, playgrounds and other public spaces.

Countering dog fouling is high on Cornwall Council’s #Litterless agenda, and the number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued has jumped from 17 in 2018/19 to 84 in 2019/20.

And we really are watching you! Almost 2,000 high-visibility dog fouling patrols have been carried out since 2016. Also, 100 town and parish councils have been trained in using a new 'no contact report card' which makes dog fouling easier to report.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection, Rob Nolan, says: “Dog poo is unsightly, it’s a nuisance, and it’s a health hazard. 90% of dog owners take the responsible approach, and go on dog walks equipped to clean up. But on these dark winter evenings some unscrupulous people think they don’t need to take the trouble, as they think they won’t be observed. Not so! Now our luminous eyes posters should make them think twice. If reported they could face a £100 fixed penalty, or prosecution with a maximum fine of £1000.”

“This summer we are extending the months when dogs can be walked on beaches, so more than ever we need to adopt a no-tolerance approach to dog mess. No excuses, everyone must come up to the standard of the responsible majority of dog owners.”

It seems the pupils of Lanner School near Redruth agree with Cllr Nolan. Lanner is one of a dozen dog-walking ‘hot spots’ where Cornwall Council is testing the ‘We’re watching’ campaign. Among comments from the young audience: “I think it’s the owners’ fault because the dogs can’t pick up their own poo!” “Can you please pick up your dog’s poo because if it gets in children’s eyes it can make them blind.”

You can find out more about the campaign here. It has already reduced dog fouling by up to 75% in Portsmouth and other places, according to a Keep Britain Tidy report.

If it proves effective in the twelve test sites Cornwall Council will look at rolling it out more widely, providing signs and monitoring forms to more town and parish councils and also to interested community groups.

Keep your eyes open for the ‘We’re watching you’ campaign in the following pilot areas: Torpoint, Chacewater, Lanner, Launceston, Newquay, Camborne, Saltash, St Austell, Tywardreath/Par, Falmouth, St Blaise, Penzance.

If you represent a town and parish council interested in being part of a future phase of the 'We're watching you' campaign should the pilot prove successful, please register your interest by emailing Business Development Manager James Peck on james.peck@cornwall.gov.uk.

And please keep a look out on social media for Cornwall’s ‘We’re watching you’ posts, including our filming at Lanner School, and share them.