PARENTS are furious about the amount of dog mess they have to avoid just to walk their children to school along Colchester’s pavements and paths.

Irresponsible owners and the council have been criticised, with some worried about the smell and sight and others concerned about more serious dangers.

Katy Lock, of Canwick Grove, Colchester, walks her four-year-old son Charlie to Old Heath Community Primary School.

She encounters muck along Cavendish Avenue and Old Heath Road, daily.

She said: “Every day we have the same problem with new dog fouling and have to tiptoe everywhere, trying to avoid treading in the muck.

“Children like to run towards school and one day a child will slip and probably put their hands into this stinking mess and cause serious injury to themselves.

“It has got really bad since the bad weather and I feel dog walkers just cannot be bothered to stop for two minutes to tidy up after their dogs and should be shamed into doing so.”

Other areas of Colchester criticised include Maldon Road and other routes around Hamilton Primary School.

A concerned parent said: “Since Christmas it seems every five or ten yards I am saying ‘watch out for that mess’ to the children.

“It is ridiculous. There was even some outside the school gates. What sort of dog owner fails to clean up the pavement outside a school?

“It is outrageous and they obviously don’t have children.

“I think it would be a really good idea to have a bag dispenser on the bins for people who forget to bring the bag out.”

Colin Rand, animal control manager at Colchester Council, has pledged to increase patrols as a result of these complaints.

He said: “Dog fouling is an offence, and Colchester Council has installed high numbers of dog bins around the borough to enable dog walkers to clear up after their pets.

“Failure of owners to do so will result in a fixed penalty charge of £50 or a fine in court of up to £1,000. The council will increase patrols in these areas where dog fouling is occurring and ask residents to continue to report details to the council.”