ATTEN-SHUN dog owners. The war against dog dirt is escalating with a new hit squad brought in to do battle with the enemy – those who don’t pick up after their pets.
Reinforcements have been enlisted to the council’s environmental warden team in a bid to rid the city’s streets and parks of the dog mess menace.
They won’t be dodging bullets but side stepping snarling pugs and dog-do on their hunt to find and prosecute offenders.
The 12 new recruits – who we have been dubbed the Dirty Dozen after the war-film classic starring Lee Marvin, pictured right – are promising an all out offensive to tackle the scourge of our beautiful city.
They will be targeting areas across the citywith operations running between 6am and 2am.
And just like Major John Reisman from the film, they are promising to take no prisoners. The officers have been drafted in by the council at a cost of aroudn £300,000 a year as part of the Dish the Dirt campaign launched by the Evening News.
Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Environmental wardens already do a really good job, sometimes under difficult circumstances and this new team will provide extra support. Dog fouling and littering are not acceptable to the vast majority of responsible residents in Edinburgh. We will take the strongest possible action against those persistent offenders who insist on spoiling the beauty of our city.
“It is important to get the message across that leaving dog mess on the pavement or in a park early in the morning is not acceptable, nor is chucking away a cigarette butt or chip wrapper after a night out.”
The wardens, who start today, have been given training in how to combat the menace and will show no fear when it comes to dishing out £40 fines.
They will complement the hard work already being done by 39 existing environmental wardens to keep the streets as clean as possible by making sure that people know that they are responsible for disposing of their own rubbish properly.
Part of their remit includes trade waste, smoking litter and fast food litter. It will be their mission to change the behaviour of litter bugs and to improve the cleanliness of the city through enforcement, issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to those seen breaking litter laws.
Sighthill and Gorgie, named and shamed as the worst place for pet poo, will be high on the list after it topped the pole for complaints with more than 200 made in the last 12 months.
They will be needed least in Morningside, which was the cleanest zone, with just 39 complaints in the same period.
Since we launched the drive, calls to the Dish the Dirt hotline have flooded in and these are the people to take the action you rightly demand.
East, West and Midlothian councils have all joined as allies against the enemy within these communities. These regular patrols, during antisocial hours, promise to help children who face a daily dodge on their walk to school, football teams who have to clear their pitches of dog mess before playing and city councillors who are bombarded with complaints.
Keep Scotland Beautiful welcomed news of the extra help to clean up the streets.
Chief executive Derek Robertson said: “It sits well with our national Clean Up Scotland Campaign, which aims to encourage campaigns like this one, and to take action quickly to clean up our country from the litter and mess that too often blights our landscape.”
Call our hotline to report dog fouling: 0300 4563476