Merton Dog Watch, a neighbourhood watch scheme for dog walkers is celebrating reaching 500 members within its first four months.
The Dog Watch scheme is led by Merton Police, in partnership with the council and Merton Priory Homes. The scheme allows the boroughs dog walkers to get involved with community concerns and provide useful information that helps make their local area cleaner and safer.
To celebrate the scheme’s success so far the Dog Watch team presented the lucky 500th member with a goody bag from local pet care company Doggy Boutique. Claire Petherwick and her 18-month old black Labrador cross, Honey, from Mitcham were the lucky recipients of the prize after joining the scheme at an event at New Horizon Centre at Pollards Hill.
Honey joins almost 100 dogs that have been chipped for free as part of the scheme. Apart from chipping, other benefits that have come of the scheme so far include 21 reports of crime varying from dog on dog attacks, drugs and anti-social behaviour issues to defective vehicles. There have also been ten reports of street related issues such as graffiti, flytipping, dog fouling and litter. Reports from Dog Watch members have also led to one arrest.
Claire Petherwick, 500th Dog Watch member and Mitcham resident said:
“I joined Dog Watch as I have often been out with Honey and seen things that need reporting but haven’t been sure how. Dog Watch makes that very simple and I really like the idea that just by going for our walk as we do anyway each day, Honey and I are doing our bit for our borough and fellow residents.”
Merton’s Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Dick Wolfenden said:
” The Dog Watch scheme is a real partnership effort between the Police, the council, Merton Priory Homes and our residents. It is fantastic news that the scheme has grown so quickly and that we’ve already reached our 500th member. I hope that seeing the success it has already had will encourage more people to get involved too.”
Councillor Edith Macauley, cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities said:
“Although Merton is one of the safest borough’s in London, joining forces with the dog walking group who are already out and about around the borough is proving to be an excellent way to help keep Merton as safe and clean as possible.”
To find out more or become a member of Dog Watch go to http://www.merton.gov.uk/dogwatch