Dog Watch

Dog Watch News. 

I keep thinking about ways to build upon our dog walking services – ways to give back to our community and really make a difference.  I recently read how a small town in England has what’s called “Dog Watch” for dog walkers.  Here’s the article I read that got me thinking about it all:

Slough Borough Council and Thames Valley Police are calling on local dog walkers to help them sniff out crime and anti-social behaviour around the town.  Residents who walk their pooches locally are being invited to join the new Slough Dog Watch scheme as they are in a prime position to see what is happening in their local area.  The scheme links the owners to Thames Valley Police’s community messaging scheme which gives information, alerts and news on a regular basis.  It also encourages dog owners to team up to make local Slough parks and open spaces more positive and offer support and help to each other.
Vinay Vyas, community safety project officer, said: “Dog walkers are in the unique position of being around the town at all times of the day and night, on the streets and in parks and they might see things other people don’t see.
“Whether it is just reporting some new graffiti, broken glass and other environmental crime or being more aware of incidents in an area, dog owners can help us and the police track anti-social behaviour and respond to it more quickly.”  Annie Tewkesbury, crime reduction adviser for Slough police, said: “Information dog walkers can give us might be the final piece of the jigsaw that helps us catch a criminal or stop a particular type of anti-social behaviour in an area.  “We are asking dog owners to team up with us to help make their areas cleaner, safer and greener places to live.”  Vinay added: “The Dog Watch scheme isn’t just about reporting crime and anti-social behaviour; it is about empowering dog owners to become an active community group.  “Everyone on the scheme will be dog lovers with similar interests and we want to bring them together to benefit them and the local community as a whole.”
Councillor James Swindlehurst, commissioner for Slough neighbourhoods and renewal, said: “Information is key to identifying anti-social behaviour and preventing it, and the more residents who report such activity, the more chance the police and the council have of working towards a solution.
“Dog walkers, by virtue of being out and about more than the average resident, are in a key position to notice things which may prove important to the police. That’s why as part of our ongoing work to stamp out anti-social behaviour in Slough we are now calling on them to work with us to help make our neighbourhoods safer for all.”

It went on to give contact information on how to get started.

What a novel idea.  I’ve even contacted the Overland Park city council to begin researching the idea right here at home.  I can’t wait to share my findings with you in the near future!

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The Chicago Tribune reports:

Great Dane Helps Stop Sex Attack In Logan Square.  A man walking his dog in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood Thursday afternoon ended up preventing a 14-year-old girl from being sexually attacked, police say.
Just before 5 p.m., the girl got off the Diversey Avenue bus and was walking when she noticed a man following her, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The man, later identified as Larry E. Smith, allegedly ran toward her, threw her on the ground and began forcibly removing her clothing and his pants, police told the paper.

The girl screamed, and a neighbor walking his Great Dane nearby came running.  “They came running over and the offender took off,” Shakespeare District police Capt. Marc Buslik told the Sun-Times. “But the neighbor and the dog cornered him in the alley.”  The man and his dog were able to keep Smith in the alley until police arrived.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Smith, 28, was charged with attempted criminal sexual assault. He has a police record including a 2009 conviction for public indecency.  The 14-year-old was not seriously injured.

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