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Blackburn 'dog poo' poster fury
11:42am Monday 24th February 2014 in News
CONTROVERSIAL new anti-dog fouling notices have been slammed by residents for being ‘deeply offensive’.
Around 180 signs showing a graphic picture of dog mess underneath the words ‘No Bull’ are part of a hard-hitting campaign aimed at getting owners to clean up after their pets.
The Blackburn with Darwen Council signs warn dog owners that £1,200 has already been collected in fines so far this year from people flouting the law.
And they add: “Don’t spend your childrens’ holiday money on a fine”.
But angry residents living close to the signs have described them as disgusting, with some demanding they be taken down.
Dawn Fish, 25, lives in Newchurch Close, where one of the posters has been erected, opposite her kitchen window.
She said: “I think it’s absolutely wrong. I understand where they’re coming from, because it’s not nice, kids play out on the street and will see that.
“It’s been worded about coming out of your children’s holiday money, but none of us even have dogs on this row.
“My little boy started reading it, and I told him to come away.
“I will move it myself because I don’t want that staring through my window.”
Michael Lord, 41, whose daughter lives in Newchurch Close, has also complained about the poster.
He said: “I travel up and down, all over the UK, and I’ve never seen anything as off-putting as that.
“I have a four-year-old grandson, and it’s not nice for anybody really, but especially not children, where they play.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
Coun Mike Lee, conservative leader, said: “It does sound like they’ve gone a bit over the top, putting pictures like that all over the place.
“I understand the council does want to get the message across, but this does seem a bit like overkill.
But Blackburn Council has defended its use of the posters.
Coun Shaukat Hussain, lead member for environment, said: “We consulted widely with residents before we produced the signs, and the message was very loud and clear hard-hitting images are what was wanted by people to tackle this disgusting behaviour which blights our streets.
“Moreover, research by the Tidy Britain Group and meetings with residents confirms that dog fouling is the most detested of all environmental offences, and the council’s view is that it must be tackled in the strongest way possible, which these posters do.
“We take dog fouling extremely seriously, and use all powers available to rid our streets of this anti-social and disgusting practice, including using these hard-hitting facts and messages in the public view to hopefully shame those people who selfishly and irresponsibly fail to keep their borough’s streets clean.”
A spokeswoman for the council said the posters were part of a rolling campaign, and had not been put up specifically in time for half term or the upcoming Easter holidays.
In the 2012/13 financial year the council issued 16 fixed penalty notices, totalling £875, and brought one prosecution, bringing in a £50 fine, £150 costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.
So far in 2013 three fixed penalty notices have already been issued, earning £175 in total for the council, and one prosecution resulted in a £75 fine, £359.57 costs, and a £20 victim surcharge.
When asked about the posters, opinion among shoppers in Blackburn town centre yesterday was mixed.
Jacqui Burns said the posters were a good idea. She said: “I’m a dog owner, so I’m not opposed to dogs, but nobody cleans dog mess, the path near my house is filthy, and nothing gets done.”
Zara Bleeks said: “I think adults will find it humourous, they won’t think it’s serious. But it’s not the right idea for kids.”