CITY dog lovers are being signed up to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood by signing up to a new Dog Watch scheme.
The scheme is a joint venture between Safer MK, Neighbourhood Watch, The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes Council, Enforcement Officers, Wardens and Thames Valley Police.
The theory is that people will be out at various times of day walking their pets covering a large number of areas.
Scheme organisers are hoping that as more people are out and about potential criminals will be deterred from committing a crime as they will be less likely to break into a house or car if someone is walking past.
The scheme is also looking to promote responsible dog ownership and people will be asked to sign up to the Dog Watch Code of Practice.
It is lead by four-year-old dog Duke, who is a rescue pet from Wales – adopted in December of last year. He is taken out and about by local officers when they are looking to sniff out problems in various areas around the city.
Dog Watch members will be able to report back on incidents such as graffiti and vandalism, fly tipping, damage to pavements and play equipment, faulty street lighting, untaxed and abandoned vehicles, dog fouling and littering and suspicious activity.
They are issued with a wallet sized card so they know who to phone.
That is part of the welcome pack that is given to people. It also includes a reduced cost for £10 for microchipping, Smartwater for £22 and 10 per cent off dog training.
Future benefits will be added as the scheme grows.
To get involved with the reduced price micro-chipping people can call Milton Keynes Council Environmental Services on 01908 252551.
By letting them know you are a member of Dog Watch people can book the £10 micro-chipping. However, they will need to show their membership card when they attend their appointment.
Thames Valley Police Neighbourhood Watch Manager, Helen Sharatt said; “Dog Watch is basically taking Neighbourhood Watch out into the community.
“Dog walkers are not being asked to put themselves at risk by confronting an individual or a group, or by taking down a vehicle registration number in the street. They are being asked to make notes when it is safe to do so and pass the information on.”
For more information people can visit the site at www.dogwatchmk.co.uk. People can also sign up online by visiting www.tvpcommunitymessaging.org. All people need to do is put their dogs name and breed into the notes section.