CARELESS dog-walkers who let their pets foul in a Bradford park have been criticised by a group set up to protect and enhance the amenity.

Eunice Smith, treasurer of Friends of Bowling Park, is urging people to stop using the park’s tennis courts to exercise their dogs.

She said there was a problem with dogs being allowed to foul the area, and their owners failing to clear up after their pets. Mrs Smith has also slammed people who have removed or defaced signs which tell people not to walk their dogs on the courts.

She said: “We are having real trouble with some dog owners. The children are going on the tennis courts and playing, and they are coming out with dog mess on their shoes. The Council have put signs up at two entrances, and they have been taken down by someone three times. They have also put a big stencil (pictured) on the floor of the courts, but days later we found it defaced. Some inconsiderate person had spray painted over it to cover it up.”

Mrs Smith said the problem made her “really angry”.

“It’s costing us money, and it’s a large park with ample room to walk a dog, they should not be in the tennis courts,” she continued. I can only put it down to laziness. Children come out and they have to wipe this mess off their shoes, it’s unhealthy and unhygienic. I would like to confront whoever is doing this myself.”

Mrs Smith said CCTV cameras would be a good way to try and tackle the problem, but admitted she feared they would also be vandalised, and would be costly to install.

A Bradford Council spokesman said the Council had limited powers to tackle the problem.

The spokesman said: “We do share Mrs Smith’s concerns, but we are unable to enforce a ‘no dogs allowed’ policy as this is not covered by the dog fouling order. It is very difficult to take action on dog fouling, unless our enforcement officers actually catch someone in the act.”

Councillor Hassan Khan (Labour, Bowling and Barkerend) said it was “totally wrong” for people to allow their dogs to foul on the courts.

He said: “What is happening is not right, people should know they shouldn’t allow their dogs to foul, it’s just common sense. The signs are there for a reason, and there is no reason not to clean up after dogs anywhere in the park, especially on the tennis courts as they are used for sport.

"CCTV is one way to tackle the problem, and we could talk to Council wardens to be on the look out for people letting their dogs foul. CCTV is the best idea but I know it would be hard with the Council suffering financially, but there must be some way to protect the park.”