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Suffolk dog mess avenger goes undercover to clean up town

A man who is fed up of dog mess has taken to hiding in bushes in camouflage to catch the culprits.

Andrew Hawes, 43, decided to take action after he and fellow residents cleaned up their neighbourhood in Leiston, Suffolk, only for the mess to return within a week.

He now dresses in full camouflage and films any offenders, before passing videos to the police who can issue fines.

His campaign - which has a Facebook group called Leiston Dog Mess Name and Shame - has even won praise from movie star Hugh Grant, who wrote on Twitter: "My hero."

The married father-of-four said: "We spent weeks cleaning up the neighbourhood and removed bucket loads of dog poo.

"Within seven days it was all back again and we thought, 'enough is enough'.

"We want to raise awareness and make people think twice about what they're doing because it's not nice for families with kids.

"The police say it is not illegal for me to do this - it's just like having a CCTV camera - and they will look at any evidence I give them and may issue an £80 on-the-spot fine."

HGV driver Mr Hawes said he was not concerned about his own safety.

"My camouflage is so good, they won't see me. I'm very discreet," he added.

"If they pick it up, there's no problem. There's no excuse for it.

"People might think it's a bit strange but all my family and friends think it's great."

The group also organises regular patrols to warn dog walkers about the problem and uses temporary paint to write warnings on pavements.

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