Leader: Let’s hit the offenders where it hurts

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You only have to look at the amount of support for our Dish the Dirt campaign to realise that it has struck a chord right across the city.

Those irresponsible dog owners who allow their pets to foul our streets and parks are consistently the No 1 bugbear of residents across Edinburgh, and understandably so.

We know the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and are backing our drive to crack down on the lazy few.

It is a drive which has been given a significant boost today with the news that the city ­council has recruited an extra dozen ­environmental wardens to patrol the streets.

They will have the power to ­respond to reports via our special hotline number and issue on the spot fines to offenders.

The investment in more staff is a clear signal that the city council is taking this issue and the campaign to dish the dirt seriously.

It is one thing threatening offenders with fines but the best incentive to convince people to clean-up after their dogs is seeing others being punished for not bagging and binning their pet’s waste.

Since we launched the Dish the Dirt campaign, we have been ­inundated with both messages of support and suggestions of where to direct resources.

From football pitches which cannot be played on until someone has cleaned up dozens of piles of dirt, to paths near schools which are like an obstacle course for ­children, nowhere is immune to the problem.

Today’s news means that the city council is better placed than ever to act on the new intelligence generated by the campaign and make real inroads into cleaning-up the streets of this age-old menace.

But we still need your help.

Keep calling the hotline, keep putting up the campaign posters, and we’ll keep up the pressure on those anti-social pet owners.

Let’s hit the offenders where it hurts – in the pocket.