Police sought to quell a building confrontation on a residential road in Richmond this week after receiving reports of poison being left out to deter the depositing of dog dirt.

On Tuesday, an officer from the Met Police working in North Richmond attempted to dispel fears among pet owners in the Stanmore Road area after it was alleged that an animal poison of some kind had been left out in an effort to discourage dogs from defecating in the area.

Residents previously posted complaints on social media regarding what was reported to be an apparent attempt to poison animals on Stanmore Road after instances of dog fouling on the street.

In response, PC Richard Valiant who investigated posted a written statement that quashed rumours of “poison” being deployed by residents against animals on Stanmore Road.

“We have become aware of reports circulating on social media about the apparent use of dog or rat poison in the Stanmore Road area of North Richmond...There is an insinuation in these posts that there is an intention to harm animals and/or children,” he wrote.

Instead, the Met Police officer continued, the substance in question was in fact an “animal-safe dog repellent” put out by a resident in the area in response to repeated dog fouling near their home.

“Last week whilst on a routine foot patrol, we were stopped by a concerned dog walker and advised about this particular matter. We investigated and then met with the persons who had put the substance on the pavement.

“Officers were assured (and saw) that the substance is not a poison; rather an animal-safe dog repellent being used in response to frequent urination and defecation from local dogs on the property boundary,” he wrote.

According to the UK’s Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, an offence is committed “if a dog defecates at any time on designated land and a person who is in charge of the dog at that time fails to remove the faeces from the land forthwith” unless they have a good reason for not doing so.

People caught breaking the above law can face fines of up to £1,000 for not marshalling their pets effectively.

PC Valiant urged residents to respect the rules as the borough constabulary sought to draw a line under this particularly pungent problem.

“Dog owners are reminded of their responsibilities to clean up after themselves,” he wrote.