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Islington ‘Dog Squad’ prepares for action on the streets

PUBLISHED: 13:55 12 April 2012

Cllr Paul Smith, executive member for environment, in Highbury Fields. He says there will be a

Cllr Paul Smith, executive member for environment, in Highbury Fields. He says there will be a "zero tolerance" policy on dog mess

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

Islington’s team of dog poo operatives has been recruited and is now undergoing intensive training at a “secret location” in the borough.

Islington’s team of dog poo operatives has been recruited and is now undergoing intensive training at a “secret location” in the borough.

More details emerged this week about the 22-strong force, believed to be the biggest of its kind in the country.

The officers will be at boot camp for more than a month before hitting the streets in May – sporting special uniforms with the slogan “dog squad” when not on undercover patrols.

Cllr Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for the environment, said: “They are getting ready and they will be out there. This is going to be a shock and awe approach.”

The council has vowed that offenders caught leaving their pet’s mess who refuse to pay the £80 fine will be named and shamed – after being hounded through the courts.

Cllr Paul Smith added: “We will back our officers to the full extent of the law. We will go as hard as we can and we will name and shame people.”

Last month five police officers were hospitalised after being mauled by a dog in a house raid in Stratford.

Cllr Smith insisted Islington’s 22 officers will be more than prepared to face dangerous animals, although he would not divulge whether they will carry any tools to defend themselves.

The £240,000 initiative, which has now been rubber-stamped by the council’s executive, will last for three months and see officers patrolling from 6am to 10pm seven days a week. They will carry out both highly visible and plain clothes swoops.

It will be supported by a “shop a dropper” campaign urging residents to ring a hotline to inform on known offenders. Residents will also be asked to identify dog fouling hotspots.

Cllr Smith said much of the outlay will be recouped in fines.


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