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Dog walkers urged to support canine crime-fighting scheme

Dog walkers urged to support canine crime-fighting scheme

Published at 6:03am 3rd June 2015. (Updated at 11:30am 3rd June 2015)

Police in Skipton are asking pet owners across Craven to join their fight against crime.

They have relaunched the Dog Watch scheme which involves people keeping an eye out for anything whilst walking their dogs and then reporting any concerns.

Police Community Support Officer Sarah Hargreaves, who set up the original scheme in 2012, said: "I set up Dog Watch as a 'Neighbourhood Watch' for dog walkers. They are out and about at all times of day and night and so they can become our eyes and ears - for example, if police are looking for a missing person, we can circulate a message round members to keep an eye out whilst they are walking their dogs."

Stacey Reffin, of Safer Craven Partnership, added: "Safer Craven supports this Watch scheme, as it provides members of the public an opportunity to feed information into the police. Dog walkers are often out early and last thing at night anyway, so it makes sense to tap into the 'natural surveillance' that they can offer.

"It is often the eyes and ears of the community that provide a snippet of information that can lead us to piecing together the bigger picture of an incident. The smallest observation can often be a very useful piece of the jigsaw."

The scheme was launched at an event which also promoted Green Dog Walkers - a pledge for owners to clean up after their dogs.

Karen McIntyre, Community Development Advisor at Yorkshire Housing, said: "Green Dog Walkers is a friendly, non-confrontational way to change attitudes about dog fouling issues in your area.

"Residents are encouraged to sign up to the Green Dog Walkers pledge which means they will always clean up after their dog, and always carry extra dog bags."

Residents who sign up to the pledge will receive a free Green Dog Walkers collar or lead which will identify their pet as part of the Green Dog Walkers group.

You can find out more about Skipton Police by following their Twitter account @Skipton_Police.