Islington’s undercover pooper snoopers stamp out dog mess

UNDERCOVER “pooper snoopers” prowling Islington’s streets and parks have slashed dog fouling by almost 50 per cent.

The plain-clothes enforcers tackle selfish owners who refuse to see to their pets’ business.

Since the officers ditched their maroon uniforms and high visibility jackets in September, fouling has fallen by an average of 47 per cent across Islington’s six problem areas.

Officers counted the number of dog fouls in each area during the fortnight before and the fortnight after the undercover pooper snoopers were introduced.

They found that in Annette Road, Holloway, the number of poos fell from 27 to just 2 – a fall of 93 per cent. In Hungerford Road, Holloway, they fell from 11 to 3 – a fall of 73 per cent. In total, the number of messes across the six areas dropped from 137 to 73.

Although it was not success across the board – in Grenville Road Open Space, Upper Holloway, the foul-count increased from 18 to 21.

The poo police, who all carry council identification cards, have so far spoken to more than 300 people, given out 3,500 dog fouling bags – and issued 12 hefty �80 fines.

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Councillor Paul Smith, Islington’s Council executive member for environment, said: “Since we started the new undercover patrols we’ve had some positive feedback – and we’ve seen a reduction in dog mess.”

A computerised mapping system is being used by Islington Council to log complaints from the public – and identify the worst affected areas.

Spa Fields, Highbury Fields, Newington Green, Tollington Park, Copenhagen Street, Caledonian Road, Junction Road, Market Road and York Way are so far among the main areas that have been in the patrols’ firing line.

Owners are being warned that the poo police will be sticking around until the problem is stamped out for good.

Councillor Smith added: “The plain-clothes patrols will continue – there is nowhere to hide for the selfish few who let their dogs mess our pavements, parks and streets.”

To report dog fouling or irresponsible owners in Islington, call 020 7527 2000.