Young offenders to tackle beauty spot dog mess?

PUBLISHED: 07:05 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:25 24 May 2010

A TEAM of young offenders could soon patrol a popular nature reserve to clamp down on rogue dog owners. The Strawberry Line, a popular path and reserve which runs from Yatton to Cheddar, has become a hotspot for irresponsible dog owners who let their pets

A TEAM of young offenders could soon patrol a popular nature reserve to clamp down on rogue dog owners.The Strawberry Line, a popular path and reserve which runs from Yatton to Cheddar, has become a hotspot for irresponsible dog owners who let their pets foul on the line.To try to solve the problem, leaders of North Somerset's Youth Offending Team are planning to ask young offenders to walk the line and talk to dog owners about the issue.Young offenders are under 18s who have committed criminal offences and often work in the community with the youth offending team, a partnership between the police, North Somerset Council and probation officers.The group would tell the dog owners where they can bin the dog deposits and the health risks involved with leaving it on the path.A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We have discussed it with the team but it has not been put into action yet."Dog fouling is a big problem on the line and we are looking at all the options we can."We have the power to prosecute and it is something we have already carried out this year."The authority's dog warden, Bob Davis, said: "Dog owners have a responsibility to pick up immediately after their dog."Failure to do so can result in a £50 fine or a maximum of £1,000 if the case goes to court. The council can prosecute on the evidence of a witness if that witness is prepared to go to court.

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