What is a Public Space Protection Order?
A Public Space Protection Order, also known as a PSPO, is a new power available under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
An order can be used to control certain activities in a specified area if two conditions are met:
- That the activities have had or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on those in the locality
- That the effect is, or is likely to be, persistent and continuing nature and is or is likely to be such as to make those activities unreasonable and that restrictions are justified
What happens if an order is breached?
If any of the conditions are breached a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £75 can be issued and failure to pay may lead to prosecution and being liable to a fine not exceeding Level 3 (currently £1,000).
What does the requirement to “remove dog faeces from any land to which is open to the air and to which the public have access” mean?
The requirement to clean up after your dog “from any land to which is open to the air and to which the public have access to” is a legal definition.
It means outdoors in parks, the footpath, highway, bridleways or any other area which someone else could reasonably be expected to access.
This excludes your front or back garden but includes outdoor communal areas in a flat complex.
Why exclude dogs from certain areas or sites?
The exclusion of dogs from certain sites, such as children’s play areas, is important in ensuring the health and safety of children in what we consider to be a safe and welcoming environment in which children play. There are also biodiversity benefits in excluding dogs from certain wildlife rich areas. The exclusion of dogs from Thompson Park, and currently Queens Park, was established many years ago.
Why might I have to put my dog on a lead if a Council official tells me to?
Requiring dogs to be kept on leads in designated areas to be determined, likely reduces the risk of dog fouling occurring, and ensures dog walkers keep their animals under control.
The vast majority of parks and open spaces are free of restrictions and only if an Authorised Officer considers a dog or dogs to be out of control or causing alarm or stress will the owner of a dog be instructed to put and keep a dog on a lead.
Who will enforce the orders?
The Dog Wardens and Park Rangers. The Council will also be designating a power to private enforcement contractors to issue the Fixed Penalty Notices on the Council’s behalf.