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Peoples’ Panel: Islington set to launch Britain’s biggest dog mess team

PUBLISHED: 15:27 23 March 2012

Sarah Eley

Sarah Eley

Archant

Last week the council announced a £240,000 crackdown on dog owners who don’t pick up their pooches’ mess.

A 22-man “dog squad” will hit culprits with £80 fines in a three-month blitz from May and residents are encouraged to “shop” offenders using a special hotline.

But how bad is the problem? Does Islington really need what will be Britain’s biggest dedicated dog mess team? And will the scheme succeed in wiping out this scourge of Islington’s streets?

Reporter André Langlois asked the people of Highbury Fields what they think.

Sarah Eley, 42, a teacher of Ronalds Road, Highbury, said: “I support the plan as a dog owner myself. In the summer people have barbecues in Highbury Fields and you don’t want to be eating amongst dog mess. Mind you, the barbecues themselves leave an awful mess behind!”

Martin O’Riordan, 43, of Mountgrove Road, Highbury, who is unemployed, said: “It’s a problem, but not a huge problem. The area’s pretty clean anyway and there are bigger things for the council to worry about. There should be fines for spitting as well.”

Malcolm Orchard, 61, a council worker from Plymouth, who was staying with family in Bryantwood Road, Holloway, said: “There is a problem here. But it takes ten seconds for a dog to make a mess and there’s little chance of them being caught. Education is the key. I’d certainly call the hotline though. ”

Phil Williams, 39, of Cross Street, Islington, a florist, said: “It’s no worse here than anywhere else. It’s about the mentality of the owner and a lot will be less affluent and won’t be able to afford the fine. It’ll be a vote winner though. I can see why Labour are doing it. There are votes in poo.”

Erica Cosburn, 45, a designer, of Ellington Street, Holloway, said: “It’s outside my front door all the time! It’s a good idea but the fine could be more than £80 really. I would call the hotline because I’m fed up with it.”

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