Paris suburb to use CCTV to fight dog poo ‘plague’

Authorities in a Paris suburb are leading the way in the battle against dog poo on the capital's streets by using a new weapon to punish owners who don’t clean up dog mess. For the first time video surveillance will be used to snoop on pooping pooches.

Paris suburb to use CCTV to fight dog poo 'plague'
Video surveillance cameras to be used to tackle 'plague' of dog poo in a Paris suburb. Photos: Mike Fleming/Jon Worth

Local authorities in the suburb of Montereau-Fault-Yvonne have come up with a new way to fight the "plague" of dog poo, the long time scourge of  the city's streets.

For the first time in France the growing legion of close-circuit television cameras will be put to use to crack down on dog owners who don't clean up after their mutts.

Deputy Mayor Yves Jégo told Le Parisien on Monday that “between 10 and 20 dog owners dirty the town. It’s a plague, the locals are always complaining to me about it.”

He estimates that the problem costs the town €200,000 a year in cleaning costs.

Clarifying the reasons for such extreme measures Jégo said, “We have already invested in a poster campaign and the distribution of rubbish bags to prevent the problem. It hasn't worked.

"There are still children stepping in it on the way to school. I hope that giving out fines will prompt dog owners to take responsibility.”

Dog owners caught on camera will first receive a warning, but if they become a repeat offender, they could find themselves paying a fine of €35.

Over the last 10 years the suburb, which has a population of 17,000, has seen the installation of 60 security cameras in the streets.

“They have reduced crime. I would never have installed them just for dog excrement. I use the technology to ensure a clean town. We can’t have street cleaners cleaning the streets all the time.”

Conversely, local police will have to be watching the cameras 24/7 to ensure they catch the doggy delinquents. Authorities will also take advantage of the round the clock surveillance to catch out locals parking on pavements or driving the wrong way down one way streets.

Local restaurant owner Nahim is against the new measure. 

“I don’t support all these cameras, I get the impression that everything we do is being watched," he told Le Parisien.

It remains to be seen whether other local authorities in Paris will follow suit.

Earlier this year the mayor of the French capital launched a  new poster campaign to urge dog owners to be more responsible

Bertrand Delanoë also increased the fines for dog owners from €35 to €68 in a bid to stamp out the problem.

by Naomi Firsht

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘Painful’ – is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Following a survey that said Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was the best in Europe, we asked Local readers what they thought...

'Painful' - is Paris Charles de Gaulle airport really that bad?

Recently, Paris Charles de Gaulle was voted the best airport in Europe by passengers.

The 2022 World Airport Awards, based on customer satisfaction surveys between September 2021 and May 2022, listed the best airport on the planet as Doha, while Paris’s main airport came in at number 6 – the highest entry for a European airport – one place above Munich. 

READ ALSO Paris Charles de Gaulle voted best airport in Europe by passengers

Given CDG’s long-standing reputation doesn’t quite match what the World Airport Awards survey said – in 2009 it was rated the second-worst airport in the world, while in 2011 US site CNN judged it “the most hated airport in the world” – we wondered how accurate the survey could be.

So we asked readers of The Local for their opinion on their experience of Europe’s ‘best’ airport. 

Contrary to the World Airport Awards study, users erred towards the negative about the airport. A total 30.8 percent of Local readers – who had travelled through the airport in recent months – thought it was ‘terrible’, while another 33.3 percent agreed that it was ‘not great’ and had ‘some problems’.

But in total 12.8 percent of those who responded to our survey thought the airport was ‘brilliant’, and another 23.1 percent thought it ‘fine’, with ‘no major problems’.

So what are the problems with it?


One respondent asked a simple – and obvious – question: “Why are there so many terminal twos?”

Barney Lehrer added: “They should change the terminal number system.”

In fact, signage and directions – not to mention the sheer size of the place – were common complaints, as were onward travel options. 

Christine Charaudeau told us: “The signage is terrible. I’ve often followed signs that led to nowhere. Thankfully, I speak French and am familiar with the airport but for first time travellers … yikes!”

Edwin Walley added that it was, “impossible to get from point A to point B,”  as he described the logistics at the airport as the “worst in the world”.

And James Patterson had a piece of advice taken from another airport. “The signage could be better – they could take a cue from Heathrow in that regard.”

Anthony Schofield said: “Arriving by car/taxi is painful due to congestion and the walk from the skytrain to baggage claim seems interminable.”

Border control

Border control, too, was a cause for complaint. “The wait at the frontière is shameful,” Linda, who preferred to use just her first name, told us. “I waited one and a half hours standing, with a lot of old people.”

Sharon Dubble agreed. She wrote: “The wait time to navigate passport control and customs is abysmal!”

Deborah Mur, too, bemoaned the issue of, “the long, long wait to pass border control in Terminal E, especially at 6am after an overnight flight.”

Beth Van Hulst, meanwhile, pulled no punches with her estimation of border staff and the airport in general. “[It] takes forever to go through immigration, and staff deserve their grumpy reputation. Also, queuing is very unclear and people get blocked because the airport layout is not well designed.”

Jeff VanderWolk highlighted the, “inadequate staffing of immigration counters and security checkpoints”, while Karel Prinsloo had no time for the brusque attitudes among security and border personnel. “Officers at customs are so rude. I once confronted the commander about their terrible behaviour.  His response said it all: ‘We are not here to be nice’. Also the security personnel.”


One of the most-complained-about aspects is one that is not actually within the airport’s control – public transport connections.  

Mahesh Chaturvedula was just one of those to wonder about integrated travel systems in France, noting problems with the reliability of onward RER rail services, and access to the RER network from the terminal.

The airport is connected to the city via RER B, one of the capital’s notoriously slow and crowded suburban trains. Although there are plans to create a new high-speed service to the airport, this now won’t begin until after the 2024 Olympics.

Sekhar also called for, “more frequent trains from SNCF to different cities across France with respect to the international flight schedules.”

The good news

But it wasn’t all bad news for the airport, 35 percent of survey respondents said the airport had more positives than negatives, while a Twitter poll of local readers came out in favour of Charles de Gaulle.

Conceding that the airport is “too spread out”, Jim Lockard said it, “generally operates well; [and has] decent amenities for food and shopping”.

Declan Murphy was one of a number of respondents to praise the, “good services and hotels in terminals”, while Dean Millar – who last passed through Charles de Gaulle in October – said the, “signage is very good. [It is] easy to find my way around”.

He added: “Considering the size (very large) [of the airport] it is very well done.  So no complaints at all.”