NORTHUMBERLAND has been revealed as one of the worst places for dog fouling in the UK by a Comparethemarket study.

The study revealed the worst places for dog fouling and the top five areas with the highest number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued.

Northumberland was the second worst place for picking up dog poo, with more than 5,000 reports of dog fouling in five years.

Data was collected by Comparethemarket on the average number of yearly reports regarding dog fouling through Freedom of Information (FOI) reports sent to UK county councils, asking for the number of reports, FPNs, prosecutions and fines relating to dog fouling for the years 2017 to 2021.

Glasgow Council had the highest number of average yearly reports of dog fouling with 2,131 recorded. Over the last five years, the number of reports surpassed more than an eye-watering 10,000. 

Northumberland had an average of 1,328.

Manchester and Belfast followed, with averages of 1,168 and 1,075 respectively.

Glasgow again topped the list for the area where dog owners are most likely to receive a FPN for dog fouling, with 24 per cent of complaints leading to owners receiving a notice - an average of 513 FPNs per year.

Roughly a quarter of reported dog fouling incidents resulted in an FPN in Glasgow, with 2,563 recorded over the last five years.

Northumberland was ranked seventh on the number of FPNs issued. There was a yearly average of 45 FPNs and yearly total of 179 from 2017 to 2021. In prosecutions, the region had a yearly average of two and yearly total of six.

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The study also found one in three (32 per cent) UK dog owners are unaware that dog fouling in public places is against the law.

If prosecuted, dog owners could be fined up to £1,000 if they don't pick up after their dogs.

When it comes to the areas with most prosecutions per year, first place is taken by Barnsley, where 70 owners were prosecuted for dog fouling, followed by Clydach Vale where 68 dog owners were prosecuted. This is less than one per cent of all complaints.

Anna McEntee, director at Comparethemarket, said: "As well as choosing the right pet insurance, it's important to be aware of the other responsibilities as a dog owner when out and about in public.

"Dog fouling, along with things like not being in control of your dog or not having them on a lead in designated areas could result in a maximum fine of £5,000, depending on the law broken and the situation."

Gordon Stewart, Conservative county councillor for Prudhoe, said: "Inconsiderate dog owners can be found in almost all communities, the vast majority of residents find the fact that owners fail to pick up after their pets totally repulsive and unacceptable.

"Parts of Northumberland have a particular problem with such issues, but most do have reports on a less frequent basis. Success in dealing with these localised problems does have a positive impact. This has to include education in various forms, proactive approach and also enforcement.

"Residents who have specific information about persistent offenders such as names, descriptions, locations and times could help to reduce this problem by contacting Northumberland County Council animal welfare team, who do a fantastic job in such a wide geographical county.

"It would save them time and tax payers money if dog owners did the right thing by cleaning up after their pets," Cllr Stewart added.

Readers reacted to the news of Northumberland's statistics.

Irene Hooker said: "If you don't want to pick up after the dog don't get one," as Shirley Morgan said: "Take their dogs off them."

Hayley Ellen Watson said: "It doesn't surprise me."

Leona Haslam added: "I've found that many areas have a lack of poo bins and people leave full poo bags lying around which is gross."

Simon Shaw commented: "If it's in the countryside and off the path, I have no issue."

Lynne Graham said: "Well considering there are nine fox hunts in Northumberland, out with a pack of 30 plus fox hounds doing their business all over, and not picked up, it's not surprising in the least."