North Devon Council is getting creative by using spray paint to highlight the dog poo menace.
The council is using biodegradable paint to highlight dog mess in Braunton in a new approach to cut down dog fouling.
It is the latest theme in the council’s Clear Messages campaign, being run in association with the North Devon Gazette.
The ‘artistic approach’ is part of a range of measures to crack down on dog fouling in the village, including letter drops, increased signage, high-profile patrols, CCTV and covert surveillance.
Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fixed penalty notice of £80 with a maximum fine of £1,000.
The council says it has already seen significant results – by monitoring the frequency of dog fouling over a week, its team found that having sprayed all existing mess, no new incidents were found, where previously it was as high as five or six a day.
Prevention and education continues in the Saunton Park area of Braunton and the council’s neighbourhood officers are working with local schools and community groups to tackle the problem.
Now it plans to carry out similar work on other problem locations.
Neighbourhood officer Alan Kyle said: “The results of our spraying are very encouraging.
“Seeing the paint reassures people that something is being done, puts those responsible on notice and helps monitor if our interventions are working.
“It’s not all about catching people – our education work and raising awareness is just as important and it is the direct support of the public that makes the biggest difference.”
The council says there are around 11,000 households with dogs in North Devon and has called on everyone to play their part highlighting the issue of fouling.
Councillor Rodney Cann added: “Unfortunately we can’t be everywhere at once and it’s very difficult to catch people in the act, which is why we rely on information from the public to put a stop to the inconsiderate few who give dog owners a bad name.
“Our message is ‘call it out, call it in and clear it up’ – if you see someone failing to pick up their dog’s mess, call them up on it, report it to us and if all else fails, clear it up so no one steps in it.”