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The Safer Wolverhampton Partnership has launched a new initiative, Paws on Patrol, to enrol dog walkers to act as "eyes and ears" and report issues ranging from dog fouling and fly tipping to anti social behaviour, drug dealing and dangerous driving to the authorities.
Members of Paws on Patrol will not be expected to put themselves in any danger or approach anyone whom they suspect of committing a crime, but will instead be given the information they need to contact the police or other appropriate agencies to deal with the issue they have spotted.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Dog walkers have always had a really important role to play in helping the authorities tackle crime and anti social behaviour.
"In particular, they are in a fantastic position to spot things that others may not, as they often walk their dogs in the early morning or late at night.
"Through the Paws on Patrol initiative, we're encouraging dog walkers to keep an eye out and report anything suspicious or indeed criminal to the police or council."
Among those who have signed up to join the Paws on Patrol is Ed Boyle, who has 2 Lhasa Apso dogs, Millie and Maisey. He said: "Paws on Patrol in essentially a type of Neighbourhood Watch initiative, but for dog walkers.
"I'm often out and about in the community taking the dogs for a walk, and while I am doing this I am basically the eyes and ears of the community. It makes sense that I am empowered to report anything suspicious to the authorities, and I and my fellow dog walkers will be very happy to do so."
Paws on Patrol is funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner's Active Citizens Fund and supports the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership's Community Safety and Harm Reduction Strategy which aims to increase the reporting of crimes, keep neighbourhoods safe and reduce the perceived fear of crime.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Paws on Patrol is a great idea. It builds on the principle that West Midlands Police relies on the eyes and ears of all of us in our local community to report criminal behaviour when they see and hear it taking place.
"Dog walkers spend more time than many of us pacing up and down local streets, which puts them in a perfect position to keep a look out for trouble and to report it to officers. I am delighted to have helped fund this community project using the ill gotten gains of criminals."
Dog owners who sign up to Paws on Patrol will be issued with a membership card, containing contact details for the police, Wolverhampton's Anti-Social Behaviour Team and the Customer Services team at the City of Wolverhampton Council. As a thank you for their involvement, they will also receive a reflective dog collar for their pet, a poop bag holder and poop bags.
To find out more about signing up to Paws on Patrol, please call the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership on 01902 550042, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Type=links;Linkid=9519;Title=Safer Wolverhampton Partnership - Paws on Patrol;Target=_blank;.
- released: Wednesday 30 August, 2017