Over 1,100 dog fouling incidents have been reported to Hyndburn council in the last five years, the Observer can reveal.
However, question marks have been raised against the figures after they showed over a 40 per cent decrease in reported incidents over the period.
Exclusive data released to the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were 294 incidents in 2012 – over five every week – however this had dropped to 164 by 2016 – just over three every week.
Hyndburn council say they continually monitor ‘known problem areas’, issue fixed penalty notices and encourage local people to report incidents through their ‘Poodunnit’ scheme’.
However, John Pickup, a former Labour councillor in the Springhill ward of Accrington, said dog fouling is still a big problem.
He said: “I frequently walk into town and I’ve never seen as much dog muck in my life. When I was a councillor I said we had a dirty town and it’s got dirtier. The council do try, it’s people (to blame) and I never see anybody getting prosecuted.
“I’m an Accrington man, I’m proud of Accrington and I’ve lived here all my life. I just think what on earth is going on?
“People don’t say anything and don’t report it because they don’t think anything will happen.”
The worst grot spots in the borough for dog mess have also been revealed, with Warwick Avenue in Clayton-le-Moors topping the list with eight incidents while Blackburn Road in Accrington and Union Road in Oswaldtwistle both have seven.
Coun Paul Cox, Hyndburn council’s cabinet member for environmental issues, said: “Our dedicated dog warden and enforcement team work hard every day to tackle dog fouling, proactively targeting and monitoring known problem areas and issuing fixed penalty notices to those irresponsible few who allow their dogs to foul.
“Local people help too by reporting dog fouling to us via our Poodunnit scheme, through the website, or by phone.
“This, along with the introduction of public space protection orders legislation requiring dog owners to keep their dogs on leads in designated areas like parks and cemeteries, along with compulsory micro chipping for dogs has all helped to tackle dog fouling in Hyndburn and we will continue to work hard to tackle dog fouling in the borough.”
Dog mess incidents reported to Hyndburn council 2012-2016:
2012 - 294
2013 - 278
2014 - 210
2015 - 218
2016 - 164 (to Oct 2016)
Worst grot spots (reported incidents 2012-2016):
Warwick Avenue, Clayton-le-Moors – 8
Blackburn Road, Accrington; Union Road, Oswaldtwistle – 7
Roegreave Road, Oswaldtwistle – 6
Alice Street, Accrington; Meadow Street, Accrington; Norfolk Grove, Church – 5
Sparth Road, Clayton-le-Moors; Thorn Street, Great Harwood; Rutland Avenue, Oswaldtwistle – 4