Dogs' mess - it's Top of the Plops

PUBLISHED: 17:41 07 January 2013 | UPDATED: 17:50 07 January 2013

Watch out!

Watch out!

Archant

East Devon residents fear it more than crime.

East Devon residents are more concerned about stepping in dogs’ mess than becoming victims of crime, according to the results of neighbourhood surveys.

In fact, dogs’ dollops are the number one gripe across the district.

Those surveyed told police, East Devon District Council and the British Red Cross Society, during a series of door-to-door research interviews, that irresponsible dog owners are the cause of their top neighbourhood concern.

The district’s dog warden could be asked to attend future surveys – so questions can be answered on the spot.

In the past five years, dog fouling and dog control have topped the list of concerns raised during neighbourhood assessments.

Crime and anti-social behaviour was ranked fifth, with waste and recycling second, speeding and parking issues third and litter and fly-tipping fourth.

Information gathered during neighbourhood assessments, first carried out in 2007, is being used to help the council and partner agencies improve their services to enhance residents’ quality of life. Axmouth and Wilmington residents are next on the list to be surveyed.

East Devon District Council says it is embracing “the basic concept of engaging with people on their own doorsteps to genuinely seek their views in a stress-free one-to-one interview”.

Although the format of neighbourhood assessments has evolved since 2007, the enduring theme has been the support of Devon and Cornwall Police in the initiative, members of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee have been told in a report.

Singled out for particular praise was Gerry Moore, East Devon’s community safety officer. His support at almost every survey has been noted.

The report, compiled by Andrew Ennis, the council’s environmental health and parking services manager, states: “His background as a police officer is a great asset in making the partnership work as well as it does.”

The British Red Cross Society has been an active participant in the surveys for three years. It is keen to reach out to those living in remote rural communities to offer free basic first aid training.

Herald readers may recall Wendy Carton’s story of a smelly train journey after an over-friendly dog wiped its mucky paws on her work clothes.

Click the link to refresh your memory - http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/shocking_smell_wafts_up_train_commuter_s_nose_1_1174879

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