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Large rise in reports of dog fouling

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 27/06/2014   Category: Latest News

Dog fouling has been recently seen in the news regularly and as although the council is fighting harder than ever to solve this issue it seems more and more complaints are being made.
Bolton’s council has seen figures of 1,800 complaints about the mess left by dogs in the area over the last few years, which is substantially higher than previous years. This information that has been revealed after a Freedom of Information request and also revealed 99 fixed penalty notices had been served to dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs and are caught in the act which results in them having a fine of £75. 11 people were taken to court and were successfully prosecuted and faced fines of up to £1000.
Bolton Council want the public to know that they take dog fouling very seriously and have a zero tolerance policy in place meaning any dog owner caught not clearing up after their dog will be fined an on the spot penalty notice and all necessary action will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.
A spokesman said: “Officers are unable to issue fines for dog fouling unless they witness someone in the act of allowing their dog to foul.  The offence must be witnessed by an officer, for action to be taken, as this is a criminal offence and there must be evidence beyond all reasonable doubt.”
Bolton’s officers can only be patrolling the area as much as there are officers free to do this and with cuts in funding at the present time being so strict it is difficult to monitor this as much as they would like to.
Members of the public are desperate to put an end to the amount of dog foul found on in the area and local resident Cllr Roger Hayes has launched his own campaign again dog fouling by delivering leaflets across the area. He explained, “It’s a problem across Bolton, but in Smithills around Church Road and Harpers Lane is a particular issue. The problem is the number of staff at Bolton Council. We have got some excellent officers in this area but there are not enough of them. People like dogs but some of them are not responsible owners.”
Another resident Lorraine Webb runs a Facebook group for the area and says she has been inundated with complaints about dog owners. Lorraine added: “At the end of the day it’s not rocket science to pick it up. There’s a cut through by the cricket club that is like a game of ‘dodge the poo’, it’s disgusting. It’s not just Little Lever, it’s everywhere.”
We see this issue in the news constantly at the moment and would like to ask our customers to get involved on how you think this should be tackled. Should fines be increased from £75, do areas need more bins or do we need more enforcement officers?