Suffolk

Man hides in bushes in Leiston to catch dog mess offenders

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Media captionAndrew Hawes said the extreme action was necessary to protect children

A man angered by owners not clearing up after their dogs is dressing in camouflage and hiding in bushes in the hope of catching them in the act.

Andrew Hawes, from Leiston, Suffolk, plans to take photos of the culprits and publish the pictures online if they refuse to clear up the mess.

Mr Hawes said he would pass the details to police once offenders are identified.

The actor Hugh Grant has tweeted his support for the campaign.

Deer stalker

Lorry driver Mr Hawes, a father of four, said he also had the backing of a name-and-shame Facebook page, which has more than 500 members.

Image caption Andrew Hawes plans to spend 10 days of his holiday trying to catch offenders

He has been using water-based spray paint to leave the message "clean it up", and will use 10 days of holiday to step up his campaign, hiding in bushes around Leiston.

"If I have to go to court to explain my actions, if it's saving a child from getting dog mess in their eye and going blind through disease, so be it," he said.

Mr Hawes, who believes his experience as a deer stalker will help his pursuit, said the sight of the mess previously made him cry.

Image copyright Christine Biggs
Image caption The group has also left messages for people who leave dog mess on the pavement
Image copyright Christine Biggs
Image caption Andrew Hawes cried after an area cleared with the help of his children was blighted by dog mess

"If they don't clear up after their dog I'll pop out of the hedge and say, 'excuse me, could you please clean up after your dog? You're being filmed - if you clean up the film will be deleted straight away - if not you'll be posted on my Facebook page for people to identify and then you'll be reported to the police' - as long as the person isn't about 7ft tall."

Reaction to Mr Hawes' actions has been mixed. Hugh Grant tweeted that he was his "hero", while a comment on BBC Suffolk's Facebook page called him "inspirational".

Image copyright Twitter

Sharon Cuthbert posted: "He has organised a very good local campaign and the whole point is to get people to realise that it is not acceptable".

However, some were less favourable.

Linda Marion Cunningham said: "I think the point he's trying to get across is great. However, the way he's going about it is creepy and he's likely to get a bop on the nose from someone who thinks he's up to no good."

Claire Hargrave commented on his camouflage: "He does know that green and beige are different colours, right?"

BBC Suffolk's Local Live page will have updates throughout the day.

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