Zero prosecutions after 1,700 cases of dog fouling are reported in Chorley
More than 1,700 incidents of dog fouling have been reported in Chorley, but not one person has been prosecuted.
The lack of prosecutions pursued by Chorley Council has been disclosed in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
The FOI revealed that a total of 1,713 incidents of dog fouling were reported to the Council in a 14-month period between January 2018 to March 2019.
But according to the findings, the Council has failed to prosecute a single case.
The vast majority of dog fouling incidents were reported in Chorley town centre (558), followed by Coppull (440) and Adlington (121).
The area least affected by dog fouling is semi-rural Wheelton, where just one incident has been reported in 14 months, followed by Anderton (4) and Heapey (5).
Councillor Paul Walmsley, who is responsible for public protection at Chorley Council, said the reports did not include information that could lead to a successful prosecution.
He said: “I’d like to reassure residents that we take reports of dog fouling very seriously because it is disgusting when people don’t pick up after their pet.
“The difficult thing for us is that the reports are usually of where the dog muck is but not specific details as to who is responsible, so we can't follow it up with an investigation.
"Essentially, these reports are of dog fouling on the pavement but not actual information that could lead to a prosecution. Where we have that information we will take action.
“We also do targeted patrols, but what we find is that when people are around, dog walkers are less likely to leave the mess.
“What we need is for people to continue to report dog fouling to us but, where possible, be our eyes and ears and report specific details of who, when and where so we can take action.
“We are seeing more and more people with doorstep CCTV cameras, so if you have any footage that captures someone not picking up after their pet and you are willing to provide a statement we can now use this to take action too.
“It is a minority of dog walkers that spoil it for everyone else but if we work together we can try to catch the culprits.
"We will have no hesitation in dealing with those responsible and taking the appropriate action, including issuing fixed penalty notices and prosecuting offenders where appropriate.”
A total of 1,713 incidents of dog fouling were reported in the parliamentary constituency area and 1,866 over the whole borough, between January 2018 to February 2019.
Chorley Council provides over 1,200 bins where dog walkers can dispose of bagged dog waste.
Dog fouling in numbers
These are the number of dog fouling incidents reported for each area in Chorley borough.
Adlington - 121
Anderton - 4
Astley Village - 17
Brindle - 11
Charnock Richard - 31
Rest of Chorley (principally Chorley town) - 558
Clayton-le-Woods - 88
Coppull - 440
Euxton - 216
Heapey - 5
Heath Charnock - 11
Heskin - 28
Hoghton - 37
Rivington - 8
Wheelton - 1
Whittle-le-Woods - 83
Withnell - 54
Chorley Constituency - 1713
What happens if you are caught?
Chorley Council can issues penalties to owners who do not clean up after their dog.
It is a criminal offence not to clean up after a dog in your control and offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £100.
Failure to pay may lead to a prosecution with a fine of up to £1,000, a criminal record and court costs.
You can report dog fouling at chorley.gov.uk or by calling 01257 515151.