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Southwark resident launches dog mess app


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A family from the London Borough of Southwark have developed an app to report dog fouling to the local authority.

Jenifer Swallow, a lawyer living in the Dulwich area, said the Turd Alert app was launched in early June through the Apple and Android stores, since when it has been used once or twice per day.

Her family developed the app as it would be more convenient for most users than logging into the council’s website to report dog mess, which poses a public health threat.

“We wanted the app to talk to the back end of the website but it was too complicated in terms of how the site had been built,” Swallow said. “So we used the environmental service email account and linked it to our own form and uploaded photos and sent it to the environmental team, and began to receive email responses.”

She said that, although the family has so far not been able to talk to council officials about the app, it has been responding to the reports of dog mess and that, from what she has seen in her local area, there has been an improvement in its cleaning of the streets.

Further uses

In addition, some people have used it report other environmental issues, notably fly tipping and graffiti, and received the email response from Southwark.

Swallow said the family is currently supporting the app financially and that she hopes that at some stage the council would take it on.

She added that so far there has been interest from a parish council in Cornwall about developing a local version of the app.

“This type of application can improve connections between local people and local authorities,” she said. “And I can imagine that an app like this could have a lot of uses.”

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