DOG fouling was the number one complaint during an online public meeting after Darlington Police asked people for their thoughts on problems in the town.

Calls were made for a crack down on people who leave dog mess in public spaces, while others asked why more was not being done to clean the streets, particularly around schools, during the police Facebook event.

PC Jeff Summerhill, who was leading the online Pact meeting, said he would raise the issue with the council’s StreetScene team and local PCSOs.

Darlington Borough Council said the town had a problem with a small number of irresponsible dog owners, but that StreetScene was not able to clean up every instance of dog fouling.

Comments on the Facebook page were received from people living in all parts of Darlington, but the Harrowgate Hill, North Road and Haughton areas appear to have particular problems.

One comment read: “Thompson Street, Lowson Street are awful for dog mess, also Bowman Street, Marina Road and Melrose, saw someone watch a dog do it this morning and just leave it.”

Another said: “St Bede’s on Kingsway has a shocking dog muck problem with people allowing their dogs to dirty on the small verge, all the children walk over it. I have contacted StreetScene on numerous occasions but more serious action needs to be taken.”

Angela Wilkinson, who walks from Harrowgate Hill to the town centre every day, said: “I see a lot of dog dirt on my way to work – I walk practically all the way with my head down so I don’t step in it.

“The council should be doing more about it, you get people walking or riding bikes in it so it gets spread all over the pavement.”

Coun Nick Wallis, the council’s cabinet member for local environment, said: “StreetScene officers clean up the mess as part of the street cleaning program. They are not able to respond to every problem area in isolation.

“There are many responsible dog owners who clean up after their pet. However, there are some that don’t, and leave dog mess for someone to step in or clean up after them.”

Dog fouling can be reported at or by calling 01325-388777.