Spray paint is the latest weapon being deployed in the long-running battle against the menace of dog fouling.
It is being used to highlight the irresponsible behaviour of a minority of antisocial owners who fail to clear up after their pets.
A team of Street Pride volunteers supported by Fenland District Council, toured Wisbech Park this week spraying the brightly coloured, biodegradable paint on to piles of dog mess that had been left behind.
They will be doing the same in other “hotspot” areas of the district over the next two weeks, including March’s West End Park, Furrowfields in Chatteris and the Manor field in Whittlesey.
It is part of a “winter awareness and enforcement” campaign aimed at drawing people’s attention to the dog control orders now in force and reducing the problem of fouling, which remains a problem for many local communities.
The marked messes in the target areas are left for a day before being removed to highlight the extent of the problem and the effect it has on the district’s open spaces.
Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, accompanied the tour of Wisbech Park. He said: “This is an issue that is raised repeatedly by residents all over the district. It is something that is always worse in the winter when it is dark and some people think they can get away with not clearing up after their dogs.
“By using the paint in this way we’re looking to underline the extent of the problem. We hope that will encourage dog owners who don’t pick the mess up to see how much their selfishness spoils other people’s enjoyment of our open spaces.”
Council officers will be carrying out regular patrols of the worst affected areas and issuing £75 fixed penalty notices to individuals caught breaking any of the dog control orders, which were introduced in October, 2012.
The orders make it an offence to fail to remove any dog faeces in all open spaces or to take a dog into certain specified places, such as children’s play areas. Failure to keep a dog on a lead in some areas is also an offence.
Other areas where council officers will be carrying out enforcement patrols include Heron Road and Jasmine Close in Wisbech, Huntingdon Road and Larham Way in Chatteris, Robingoodfellows Lane and Albert’s Drive in March, Tower Close in Whittlesey and North and South Green in Coates.
The council is also working with the police on the “Paws on Patrol” campaign launched last month]. The campaign encourages dog walkers to act as the eyes and ears of the community and report any crime or antisocial behaviour they see when they are out with their pets.
• A man in March has been hit with a £75 fixed penalty notice for allowing his dog to do its mess in the street.
A council enforcement officer was on hand to witness the man open his front door to let his dog out and allow it to do its business in the road outside his property. The man was served his penalty notice on the spot.