A CHEF who takes his son with him to clean the streets of dog mess says he has been warned by police to stop taking pictures of irresponsible pet owners.
Gavin Starkey revealed that tensions boiled over after one angry owner chucked a bag of dog poo at him and another spat at him.
The 35-year-old is so fed up with the amount of dog mess where he lives in the Scottish Borders he spends 12 hours a week cleaning it up himself.
He started his crusade in Kelso after his son, Lucca, seven, slipped in dog mess on his way to school.
Gavin has been known to take pictures of dog mess to send to local politicians and post on social media to shame dog owners in his town.
In his first three weeks he scooped up around 350 piles of poo, weighing in the region of 260lbs (120kg).
He makes three four-hour trips a week, plotting his route in advance on AA route planner.
Gavin said today: “In the last month I’ve been cautioned by the Police, spat at and had dog dirt thrown at me. You could say some people are taking a dislike to my vigilante approach.”
“It won’t deter me. I went out at 5:30am one morning and saw a woman letting her dog mess in street. I took a picture and she called the old bill.”
He added: “They informally cautioned me because filming or taking pictures could provoke a violent confrontation. I said to them that I was sure I could handle a 60-year-old.
“Then I said that if they policed this issue properly I wouldn’t have to be standing in the middle of Kelso at 5:30am picking up dog poop like a wally.
“I feel let down by the people who are meant to be contributing to a stable and safe environment.
“A cut of our wages goes into paying for the police service and this is something that should be dealt with properly.”
He added: “Another guy in kelso has asked me not to collect dog mess. I ignore him as he is a nasty bit of work but one day he picked up some mess with a bag and flung it at me in a protest.”
Across the UK it is estimated that the nation’s eight million dogs produce 1,000 tonnes of mess annually, much of which ends up left on the streets.
In a video of one of his outings posted to his Facebook group ‘Kelso’s resident poopa scoopa’, he and his son tell viewers that they have collected six bags of poo in 50 yards, describing the extent of the mess as “unacceptable”.
Dog fouling has been an issue for councils throughout the nation. In 2014 Fife council wardens began using thermal imaging equipment to track the recent ‘products’ left behind by night-time dog walkers.
Police Scotland said they could not provide a comment without more information being provided.