Partners LEAD the way to encourage responsible dog ownership

22nd September 2023

A new initiative to promote and encourage responsible dog ownership across the Caerphilly county borough has been launched this week.

Partners from the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership – including Gwent Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Caerphilly Council – hosted a special launch event in Ystrad Mynach on Thursday (21/02/23).

The initiative, called LEAD (Local Environmental Awareness on Dogs), seeks to provide advice to the public on dog-related issues, as well as improving dog safety and welfare. It also deals with anti-social and inconsiderate behaviour by individuals with dogs in a way that protects and reassures the public.

The LEAD initiative will enable partners to share intelligence and implement a range of measures such as warning letters, acceptable behaviour contracts and, ultimately, enforcement action if appropriate.

Superintendent Mike Richards of Gwent Police said: “This partnership initiative is being launched following a number of tragic cases in our area, where people have been killed or seriously injured by a dog. There’s now an increased awareness of dog attacks among our communities, so we want to raise this further and work together to promote safe dog ownership.

“There is a shared commitment between all of the organisations involved in the initiative to keep the public safe. Following the launch in the Caerphilly area we hope we will be able to roll this out in the other four council areas in Gwent.”

Cllr Sean Morgan, Leader of Caerphilly Council added: “We are pleased to host the launch of this important new initiative that promises to deliver a positive impact across our communities. LEAD has been recognised nationally as best practice for promoting responsible ownership and we will work with dog owners to encourage and support this behaviour.

“However, we also need to deliver a clear message to our residents that if anyone fails to comply with our interventions, we will act to enforce the law and protect the public whenever necessary and where legislation permits.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Eleri Thomas said: “I was privileged to speak at the launch of the LEAD initiative and to hear first-hand from families who have lost loved ones in dog attacks.

“We must encourage responsible dog ownership, and tackle antisocial and inconsiderate behaviour by some dog owners, and I hope to see the LEAD scheme expanded across Gwent.”

Members of the public are urged to call the local authority for noisy dogs, dog fouling, illegal breeding or stray dogs. 

Call Gwent Police on 101, or message via Facebook or Twitter for illegal breeds, organised dog fights, dangerous dogs or anti-social behaviour with dogs.

In an emergency, always dial 999.