A NORTH Durham council's fight to persuade dog owners to use poop-scoops gathered pace this week.

Derwentside District Council's dog enforcement and education officer Lynn Copeland took her campaign out of the classroom.

She went on to the street to support the National Canine Defence League's poop scoop week.

The officer, who tours the area's schools as part of her duties, hopes media coverage about the charity's campaign might help prevent the council having to take people to court over the issue.

Executive councillor for public services Neil Gregory supported the initiative.

He said: "When the council appointed Lynn our policy was laid down as education as our first priority."

But he said enforcement was possible if dog owners were not prepared to act in a responsible manner and clean up after their pets.

He said: "Those who think that this is not an important issue may be surprised to learn that district councillors receive more complaints from the general public concerning dog fouling than almost any other subject."