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Fears ‘we’re watching you’ dog-fouling posters could scare kids

07 February, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Cllr Tricia Clarke and the dog-fouling poster

NEW posters designed to stop dog fouling could “traumatise” children, a councillor has warned.

The council’s street environment services team is mounting the posters on litter bins in every street in St George’s ward.

But at a council scrutiny meeting, Labour councillor Tricia Clarke told officers she was worried about the impact they would have on children in her ward.

“I had a reaction to this which was really negative,” said Cllr Ward. “We’re frightening our residents. I’m really keen that there’s some sort of monitoring and if residents are reacting negatively that we do something quickly about it. I want a review in six months to see if anything has changed.”

The posters are printed by Keep Britain Tidy, and feature a pair of eyes with the title: “Thoughtless dog owners. We’re watching you!”

Underneath, smaller writing reads: “9 out of 10 dog owners clean up after their dog. Are you the one that doesn’t?”

Cllr Clarke said: “Dog owners tend to be adults, but children are in our ward too. Are we trying to frighten them and alarm them so they don’t go near a bin or something? You have to think of our children. If it works then fair enough, but I don’t want to be traumatising our children.”

Caledonian ward councillor Paul Convery, also from the Labour group, said the message on the poster was “contradictory”.

He added: “It’s saying ‘Watch out’ to bad people, and then it’s saying nine out of 10 people are doing the right thing. It’s a completely crackers narrative. You can’t do carrot and stick. You’ve got to do one or the other, or one after the other, but not simultaneously.”

Council officers told the two councillors this was the most effective way of getting the message across, and explained they would follow it up by posting leaflets through every door in the ward.

Environment and transport chief Rowenna Champion added: “This is based on a Keep Britain Tidy study, and this was the most successful way of reducing dog fouling.”

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