Dog Owners To Become ‘Eyes And Ears’ Of Community
Dog owners and their pets are being urged to help in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour by agreeing to become the eyes and ears of the community.
‘Paws on Patrol’ is a new pilot initiative which is being launched in the Penyfan area of Llanelli by Dyfed-Powys Police, Carmarthenshire County Council, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Llanelli Town Council.
It encourages dog owners to report any suspicious activity, as well as anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping or deliberate fires, and even faulty street lights or potholes which they may come across while out with their four-legged friend.
They are not expected to intervene in any incidents, but simply report and gather any evidence so that the relevant agency can investigate and take action.
The initiative is being launched at Penyfan Park on Saturday, April 22. There will be fun activities for children, a police car and fire engine will be in attendance, a police dog handler will pay a visit, security advice and other useful information will be available from police, fire and local authority officers, and there will be refreshments.
Dog owners who sign up to the initiative will receive a hi-visibility collar for their dogs.
If it is a success, it could be rolled out to other areas across Carmarthenshire.
PC Lynne Melly said: “Dog walkers are out and about exercising their dogs at all times of day and night so it makes sense to ask them to play an active role in keeping their communities safe and secure. They can act as our eyes and ears and we will provide them with a clear list of who best to report certain issues to, which we hope will give them the knowledge and confidence to report issues to the correct organisations.”
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “We can all help in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour and even the smallest action can have a big impact. From reporting faulty street lights or unsightly graffiti and fly-tipping to making sure you secure your home before going out – all help make our communities safer. Dog walkers are out in their communities at different times of the day and evening so are very likely to spot when something out of the ordinary is happening.”
Head of Community Safety for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Group Manager Karen Jones said: “We work closely with our partner agencies to prevent incidents of arson and deliberate fires. The role that the public play in supporting our multi-agency approach to tackling arson is vital, and we encourage all dog owners to report any suspicious activity they may come across.
“Arson is a crime that can carry a heavy fine or even a prison sentence. It endangers lives within the community and those of the emergency services. It also diverts the fire service’s resources, leaving other areas vulnerable. Through the support of our communities we can encourage a cultural shift, so that arson is seen as socially unacceptable by all.”
Llanelli Mayor Cllr Bill Thomas said: “Llanelli Town Council will shortly asset transfer Penyfan Park from Carmarthenshire County Council and is keen to work closely with stakeholders to provide a safe and clean environment for its users. I wish the scheme every success and look forward to the possible development of the scheme in the near future.”
Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales