AN ENFORCEMENT officer has been signed up to target and fine those who don’t clear up after their dogs at a popular park.

The officer, who will be employed by Rochford District Council, will be aiming to deal with ongoing dog fouling issues at Cherry Orchard Park, Rochford.

A conservation group in Rochford confirmed the officer will be in operation from Monday, September 30.

And the officer will have the power to issue fines to offenders.

A spokesperson from the Friends of Cherry Orchard Park, said: “We are pleased to say that a Rochford District Council enforcement officer will soon be carrying out unannounced spot checks in the park.

“The officer, wearing a body camera, will be able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices and fines of £100 to anyone not clearing up after their dog. Thanks to Rochford District Council for this initiative.”

Residents were delighted with the announcement by the wildlife group, who work with the council to improve the park, with several commenting on social media that this was long overdue.

One said: “If you have a dog, you pick up and bin it. Put a poo bag caddy on your lead. It really is that simple.”

Several others posted that more dog waste bins are needed in the park.

Marcus Hotten, director for the environment at Rochford Council, was not able to confirm the annual cost of the officer, or how often they would be patrolling Cherry Orchard Park, or whether this is part of a larger scheme to be rolled out across the district.

Mr Hotten would only say: “Rochford District Council takes dog fouling very seriously and takes a very firm stance on this issue.

“It is an offence to allow a dog to foul in any area open to the public, without the person who is in charge of the dog clearing up the mess immediately in the aftermath.

“We are very keen to work on initiatives with our community groups to ensure our parks and open spaces are kept as clean and tidy as possible.”