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Paws on Patrol Scheme Sniffs Out Crime

Dog owners and dog walkers have joined forces with crime-fighting partners to sniff out leads and help detect environmental and anti-social offences and issues across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Paws on Patrol has been launched by the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership to harness the efforts of people who spend a lot of time out and about in the county borough’s parks, countryside, open spaces and trails.

It is hoped they can act as the eyes and ears of the partner agencies and report suspicious activity and individuals, or incidents that concern them.

Graffiti, dog-fouling, faulty street lights, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping are just some of the issues the Paws on Patrol members are being urged to keep their nose to the ground for.

The success of the scheme is based on raising awareness of the issues partner agencies are working to tackle and giving the public the information and direct contact numbers they need to report crime and anti social behaviour. At no point is anyone expected to or asked to get involved in any incident.

Paws on Patrol is about raising awareness and encouraging information-sharing and has been launched by the Community Safety Partnership, which harnesses and coordinates the efforts of partner agencies including Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

The Paws on Patrol members already proved how invaluable they were during the recent spate of deliberately-lit grass fires which devastated large parts of the county borough’s countryside, reporting individuals acting suspiciously.

Nearly 60 dog walkers and owners have joined up to the scheme and each has received an information pack detailing the scheme, the information partners are looking for and contact details to use to report issues of concern.

Newsletters to keep the members up to date on progress are also sent out to ensure the scheme continues to be a success.

Cllr Joy Rosser Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Libraries and Heritage said: “Paws on Patrol is a new initiative aimed at encouraging people who spend a lot of time out and about in the community of Rhondda Cynon Taf to be our eyes and ears.

“The scheme is not about intervening or getting involved, it is about helping us to identify where there are issues and being able to share information easily and effectively. For example, dog walkers have recently pointed out graffiti and fly-tipping, which has been reported to our Environmental Services teams to clear.

“They played a crucial role in the challenging response to the unprecedented spate of grass fires we recently faced and were hugely helpful in reporting suspicious individuals seen going up or down the mountains and reporting incidents.

“There is a strong Community Safety Partnership in place across the county borough, which coordinates and drives the efforts of a range of partner agencies that are working to ensure RCT remains a safe and enjoyable place for all to live.

“Paws on Patrol forms part of that strong partnership, linking in with our residents to  help others.”

Find out more by emailing publichealthcommunitysafety@rctcbc.gov.uk or phone 01443 425674.