JUST two people have been prosecuted for dog fouling in Wigan borough as calls grow for councillors to be given the power to issue fines.
Figures released following a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that in 2011/12 only two prosecutions were brought by Wigan Council for dog fouling and only 34 fixed penalty notices were issued in the borough.
The figures have prompted renewed demands for councillors to given the power to issue FPNs in their wards.
Coun Gary Wilkes from Bryn believes dog fouling is blighting the borough and wants to see councillors given the right to issue the notices.
He said: “I’m not surprised by the small amount of people who have been fined for allowing their pet to foul the footpaths, with fewer and fewer council officers about to do this kind of work local councillors should be handed powers to fine people for dog fouling and maybe littering as well.
“I for one would support this proposal if asked to do it.
“Local councillors know the areas worst affected by dog fouling and even know the people who don’t clean up after their dog.
“The council should adopt a zero tolerance to this type of anti-social behaviour on society.”
Earlier this year, a report presented to a Wigan Council Scrutiny Committee revealed complaints about dog fouling in the borough were on the rise.
Also, in February this year, residents in Kitt Green said they were at the end of their tether due to irresponsible pet owners allowing their pets to foul the area.
Wigan Council says it is difficult to catch culprits. Terry Dunn, director of environment, said: “Most dog owners are responsible and will dispose of the faeces properly by putting in the bin once they have bagged it.
“Whilst we don’t employ staff specifically to look out for dogs fouling, if we see it happening, we will take the matter very seriously and act accordingly.
“Dog fouling is offensive and unacceptable and if we have sufficient evidence, we will not only issue fixed penalty notices but also prosecute when appropriate.”
The council has increasingly put up warning signs to residents in hotspot areas and also stencilled “no dog fouling” messages on pavements. The Wigan-based Keep Britain Tidy campaign last year won a national award for its eye-catching advertising drive warning dog owners that “there is no such thing as the Poo Fairy.”