‘Pooch Patrol’ has criminals in sight!

Blackpool Police officially launched its Dog Watch scheme at the Stanley Park bandstand

Blackpool Police officially launched its Dog Watch scheme at the Stanley Park bandstand

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Dog-walkers in Blackpool are giving criminals paws for thought after signing up in droves to help police keep the community safe.

Around 100 people have shown an interest in the resort’s Dog Watch scheme following its official launch in Stanley Park this week.

Dog Watch volunteer Joanne Kempson sporting her ID armband during a walk with her dog Rio.

Dog Watch volunteer Joanne Kempson sporting her ID armband during a walk with her dog Rio.

Dog owners – who often walk their pets along the same routes several times a day – are being urged to keep their eyes and ears open to help police tackle crime in the resort.

It comes on the back of the success of a similar scheme in Fylde, which is already producing results.

Insp Mark Morley, of Blackpool Police, said: “It’s about people knowing their own communities, knowing what is unusual and providing links to the neighbourhood policing teams and contacting us if there is anything out of the ordinary.

“We have had good interest so far – I think there were about 100 packs given out at the launch.

Inspector Mark Morley explains the Dog Watch scheme to members of the public in Stanley Park

Inspector Mark Morley explains the Dog Watch scheme to members of the public in Stanley Park

“It was really quite positive and people there said they would support is and get more people involved.”

Insp Morley was on hand at the launch on Tuesday to give residents information about the scheme.

Watch liaison officer Sue Blackburn, who is coordinating Dog Watch in Blackpool, said she hoped to see the scheme expand across the rest of the county soon.

She said: “Many members of the public are keen to help out as much as they can.

“Being a nation of dog lovers and dog walkers, they can keep an eye on the areas they walk two, three or more times a day by watching out for suspicious activity.”

Insp Morley said he was “absolutely sure” the scheme would be a success in Blackpool as more people sign up to help police by acting as their “eyes and ears” on the resort’s streets.

He highlighted one case, in Lytham, where a dog walker helped stop a gang of burglars in their tracks – and recover stolen property.

He said: “He spotted some lads abandoning a car at the end of the road and rang us.

“It turned out these lads had done three burglaries and the car was stolen.”

Anyone interested in signing up to the scheme should call Sue Blackburn on (01253) 604134.