Dog walkers urged to help fight crime

THE first initiative of its kind in Hertfordshire is being launched in Stevenage on Saturday. It aims to encourage dog walkers to help fight crime and learn more about crime prevention.Called Dogwatch, it has been developed by the Stevenage Neighbourhood

THE first initiative of its kind in Hertfordshire is being launched in Stevenage on Saturday.

It aims to encourage dog walkers to help fight crime and learn more about crime prevention.

Called Dogwatch, it has been developed by the Stevenage Neighbourhood Team and Neighbourhood Watch.

It will be launched by local MP Barbara Follett at Pets at Home in Fairlands Way at 11.30am.

Sgt Ian Blundell from the Stevenage Neighbourhood Team said: "Police in Stevenage are working extremely hard to make the town an even safer place for people to live, work and visit, but we do need the public's help.

"We know dog walkers spend a lot of time out in their communities and would possibly know if something suspicious or out of the ordinary was occurring in their neighbourhood.

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"Dogwatch will encourage members to make sure they report suspicious incidents so officers can look into them, or build possible intelligence. Members will also be asked to consider environmental issues and report incidents of fly tipping and abandoned cars to the council."

Members will be given regular updates about how their information has helped improve the areas where they live. They'll also be given crime prevention advice.

Sgt Blundell added: "I am sure dog owners will have a wealth of knowledge which will help both us and the council further improve the quality of life in Stevenage. Everyone is welcome at the launch of Dogwatch on February 21 so please do come along and find out more about how we can work together to reduce crime."

At the event:

* The RSPCA will be offering discounted micro chipping for dogs and welfare advice for owners

* Pets at Home has donated goodie bags for the first 20 people who sign up to the initiative

* Pets at Home will have its veterinary nurse to offer advice

* A dog groomer will be available

* A dog trainer will be there

* Visitors can meet a Hertfordshire Constabulary dog handler and working police dog

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