A new neighbourhood watch scheme, which uses dog walkers as the ‘eyes and ears’ of Sussex Police and local councils, was officially launched today.
‘Paws on Watch’ from the Safer Wealden Partnership aims to recruit responsible dog owners to report anything that seems suspicious and promote responsible dog-ownership.
Councillor Claire Dowling, Lead Member for Public Health & Community Safety at Wealden District Council and Chair of the Safer Wealden Partnership said:
I am really pleased to be involved with this project. Not only are we seeking help from the numerous responsible dog owners in the area to help keep their patch of Wealden safer, but it also sends a message out to those intent on committing crime or mischief, that many people could be watching them and reporting their activities.
Paws on Watch members are asked to do three things:
- To act as an extra pair of eyes and ears in their local community, reporting back anything that seems suspicious or unusual;
- If they feel able to and it is appropriate to promote responsible dog ownership amongst other dog walkers by challenging those that do not clear-up after their dog and offering them a bag; and
- To help Sussex Police and other enforcement agencies to keep an eye out for specific crimes in their area and to report any details. For example, if there was a spate of heating oil thefts or a regular fly-tipper in a certain location, Paws on Watch members in that area would be emailed and asked to be vigilant for any suspicious behaviour.
50 people have already signed-up for the scheme ahead of the former launch. Other dog owners interested in joining ‘Paws on Watch’ are asked contact their local PCSO – you can find their details by visiting the Sussex Police website and clicking on your ward.
Members receive a badge, a tag for the dog’s collar (wearing either is optional) and a membership card which lists the important contact details for Sussex Police and some personal safety advice.
You can keep up to date with the latest news on the Twitter account: @paws_on_watch.