Date published: 14th February 2017

A street stencilling and social media campaign to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dogs has helped to raise awareness of the issue and helped to reduce the amount of dog fouling in North Norfolk.

Over the Christmas and New Year period North Norfolk District Council’s environmental services team were out and about stencilling no messing signs onto the Sheringham Promenade.

The stencilling campaign was run alongside a Christmas themed social media campaign that saw 13 tweets gain 14,106 twitter impressions and 15 Facebook posts reach more than 9,000 people with 472 Facebook clicks. The issue was debated on social media and the stencils were clearly visible on the Sheringham Promenade.

Before the campaign monitoring was carried out along Sheringham Promenade – the area was visited 11 times between 29/11 to 16/12 and a total of 67 dog poos were recorded; after the stencils went down the area was visited 11 times between the 20/12 to 11/01 and 57 dog poos were recorded, a reduction of 15%.

Volunteer community dog wardens also support the education and engagement approach by going out and about patrolling neighbourhoods to remind dog owners of their responsibilities and help talk to pet owners about the need to always pick up after your dog.

North Norfolk District Council has 16 volunteer community dog wardens who go out and about to educate dog owners and 9 environmental protection officers trained to issue fixed penalty notices.

The Council has a zero-tolerance approach to environmental crimes and will issue fixed penalty notices where offences are witnessed with sufficient evidence to prosecute, should the offender fail to pay.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “We take this issue very seriously and we work with our communities to educate and engage people. We have had very positive feedback from the awareness-raising campaigns we have run on- and off-line, and residents do understand dog fouling is a very tricky problem that needs everyone to come together to solve.

“North Norfolk is a great holiday destination for families and the vast majority of dog owners are aware of how important it is to pick up after their pets. Our focus is to educate those pet owners who don’t realise how important it is, to work with the community and ultimately to take enforcement action when an incident is witnessed. Our communities know it’s difficult to get the right evidence to fine an irresponsible owner, but together we can make it less likely to happen in the first place.”

In the past four years reports of dog fouling has decreased by 27% since April 2012 to March 2016, with 182 reports in 2012/13 to 170 in 2013/14, 148 in 2014/15 and 133 in 2015/16.

Looking at this information in calendar years it shows that reports of dog fouling does fluctuate – in 2016 there were 103 reports, in 2015 there were 121 reports and in 2014 85 reports. Over this period one fixed penalty notice has been successfully issued.

Over this time the council has taken part in national and local campaigns – including:

  • Taking part in the ‘Scooperhero’ campaign run by the Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy
  • Run a ‘No Messing’ campaign
  • Launched a community dog warden scheme in 2014
  • Organised a competition with five schools designing poosters to put up in their neighbourhoods – the winning designs were then used on the sides of bin lorries.

North Norfolk District Council is part of the Norfolk wide Waste Enforcement Group and we work with colleagues across the county’s local authorities to share best practice and tackle issues effectively.

Our approach is to Educate, Engage and Enforce, and this approach is one that nationally is recognised as an effective way to change behaviour.

Last updated: 16th August 2017