Havering Council has issued just one fine for dog fouling in the last five years, according to data received via a Freedom of Information request.

According to figures shared by Kennel Store, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council recorded the highest number of fines for dog fouling in the UK in the last five years, issuing 445.

But Havering Council issued a solitary £150 fine over the same time period, the data showed.

Neil Hutchinson, from Kennel Store, said: “When investigating fine procedures in each district council, we discovered some councils do not implement fines and alternatively they offer education as to why not picking up dog excrement is dangerous and the importance of keeping our streets clean.”

Havering Council said figures for the borough and other local authorities are often low because offenders have to be caught at the time, and it is not possible to retrospectively fine individuals.

A spokesperson said: “Although it isn’t always easy to catch irresponsible dog owners in the act, we do conduct park patrols in uniform, which helps deter people when they see the patrols being carried out.

“There are posters up in many of our parks that remind dog owners and walkers to clear up after their dogs and we also have a quick and easy to use reporting system to alert the street cleansing team to any animal fouling that needs clearing up.”

The council added that its officers “have a broad portfolio” of work beyond monitoring dog fouling, such as anti-social behaviour, violence against women and girls and fly-tipping, meaning “their time is divided over all those matters”.

In total, 14 councils recorded just one instance of a fine issued for dog fouling, with 56 recording none.

Neil said: “Dog fouling is illegal in the UK and the law states that being unaware a dog has fouled or not having a suitable bag is not a reasonable excuse, and could result in dog walkers being penalised.

“Not only this, but it is extremely dangerous as contact with dog excrement can cause toxocariasis – a nasty infection that can lead to blindness or seizures.”