Dog poo crackdown in Blackburn and Darwen after council flooded with 80 complaints

-Credit: (Image: WalesOnline)
-Credit: (Image: WalesOnline)


An East Lancashire local authority is to launch a new crackdown on dog fouling after more than 80 complaints about it in 2023/24.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is to impose an new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control after the existing one expired in January. Borough environment and operations director Martin Eden tells councillors that renewing the order which allows for the imposition of £100 ‘on the spot’ fines is the only way to tackle ‘persistent’ dog fouling.

In a report he says: “I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that dog fouling and dog control failures of a persistent nature will continue in the borough, that this behaviour is unreasonable and would have a detrimental effect.

“Due to persistent levels of dog fouling, and poor control over domestic dogs by some owners in the borough, a PSPO to control dog fouling and behaviour was introduced on January 18 2018. It was renewed on January 18 2021 and has now expired. Dog fouling continues to be a persistent issue.

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“In 2023/24 the council received 80 complaints specifically about dog fouling (and dogs not being on leads) but dog fouling is reported to be a persistent and wide-ranging problem, and elected members receive a significant number of complaints about it.

"The proposed PSPO does not deal with dangerous or aggressive dogs" -Credit:Getty Images
"The proposed PSPO does not deal with dangerous or aggressive dogs" -Credit:Getty Images

“The proposed PSPO states that a person in charge of a dog commits an offence if :

“• the dog defecates on the areas of land specified and they fail to remove it forthwith;
“• commits an offence if they fail to keep the dog on a lead in the cemeteries; and
“• commits an offence if they take a dog onto, or permit the dog to remain on, the sports or play areas specified.

“It is a balanced PSPO which allows adequate enforcement against anti-social behaviour relating to dogs but does not impinge unduly on the rights of dog owners or the welfare of dogs. Importantly, there is sufficient provision of areas in the borough where dogs are allowed to be off lead and can therefore exhibit natural behaviours.

“The proposed PSPO does not deal with dangerous or aggressive dogs as other legislation is available to deal with this. While a breach of PSPO can be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £100 as an alternative to prosecution, the number of FPN’s issued under the PSPO are not likely to be high.

“Numbers of prosecutions relating to breaches of the PSPO are not expected to be high. Not making a PSPO was rejected as there is no other way of controlling dog fouling.”