Cemetery-walking dog owners who allow their animals to foul graves and headstones are to be targeted by enforcement officers.
Northumberland County Council is stepping up patrols to combat an increase in reported incidents of dog fouling and owners failing to keep dogs on leads in cemeteries.
Enforcement Officers will be on patrol in cemeteries where dog owners have been sighted allowing their dogs to roam around cemetery grounds.
Council cemeteries are subject to dog control orders which require dogs to be kept on a short lead, not more than 1.5 metres in length, at all times and must be under control. An extendable lead is not permitted.
As in all other public places, it is an offence to allow a dog to foul and not clean up. Signs at all the entrances to the cemetery instruct dog owners to keep their dogs on leads.
The council has received an increasing number of complaints of dogs fouling in cemeteries, especially in the Bedlington and Blyth area and say this is particularly distressing for those visiting the graves of loved ones.