Dog walkers ready to keep eye out for crime

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DOG walkers are being urged to unleash puppy power on the county’s criminals by joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Dog Watch, which encourages dog walkers to keep an eye out for and report crime, will launch on Saturday, March 3, in Kettering at Pets at Home in Northall Street.

Terry Savill, 73, of Raunds, who co-ordinates the scheme for Neighbourhood Watch, said: “It is a sad fact that the missing link in many crimes are often in out-of-the-way places in the county, whether it be a stolen vehicle, an item of clothing, a tool or even on rare occasions a victim of crime.

“Dog walkers are often the means by which vital evidence is found as dogs stray into areas not normally frequented by passers-by.

“It has been proved that the Dog Watch scheme not only has the potential to solve a crime but can make a difference to the surrounding community, as many undetected or ignored problems are reported and dealt with.”

The scheme, which is open to walkers, runners and anyone else who goes out and about in the countryside – with or without a dog – has grown to 600 members since it was launched in Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire last June.

Members managed to get dangerous holes left uncovered in a field owned by Anglian Water near Lyneford Way, Rushden, closed off after dog walkers noticed that children and dogs had been playing in them.

Mr Savill said children had fallen in the holes.

Sgt Simon Lloyd, of Kettering Safer Community Team, said: “Policing is a community activity and as a force, we are always keen to extend community involvement in policing through different initiatives and schemes.

“The Dog Watch scheme, which is being run by the local Neighbourhood Watch, provides such an opportunity, because dog walkers are frequently the first to discover something out of the ordinary in their local area.

“We are keen to see the Neighbourhood Watch network in Kettering expand through Dog Watch and would encourage dog walkers in the local area to join the scheme.”

Dog owners are invited to attend the launch between 10am and 4pm.

For more information call Neighbourhood Watch on 101 ex 5724 or visit www.northamptonshiredogwatch.co.uk.