Public Spaces Protection Order - St Edmundsbury - dog control orders consultation

Audience: residents and visitors

This consultation is now closed. It was open from 20 February 2017 to 17 March 2017.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced a number of changes to the ways that Councils and the Police can deal with local anti-social behaviour issues. Among the changes is the replacement of the Designated Public Place Order, Gating Orders, and Dog Control Orders with the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

What is a PSPO?

A PSPO can be used to regulate activities in public places that have a detrimental effect on the local community. They can help by giving local councils and police additional powers to tackle antisocial behaviour in specific locations.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is considering adding to the conditions of the Public Spaces Protection Order in Bury St Edmunds to help us address issues that have been raised by members of the public regarding street begging.

The borough council is also considering new offences under the PSPO in relation to controlling dog behaviour and alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

Each proposed condition is explained below and we want to get your thoughts as to whether you think this is an appropriate use of a PSPO.

Dog control

The current legislation for dealing with the offence of dog fouling has been replaced and enhanced by powers contained within the Anti-Social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 through the application of PSPOs.

The current situation

At present, orders are in place that require certain behaviours of dog walkers in particular locations. These are:

  • across St Edmundsbury, there is a requirement for dog walkers to clear up after their dog; and
  • at Haverhill Recreation Ground, there is a requirement to keep dogs on a lead.

Supporting this are rules excluding dogs from specific locations such as play areas in order to prevent dog fouling. These specific rules are currently advisory only, but by adopting the new legislation it will be an offence and offenders will be liable to incur a fixed penalty fine. PSPOs will also replace the existing measure in relation to requiring dog walkers to clear up after their dogs. The requirement to keep dogs on a lead whilst on Haverhill Recreation Ground will not be included in an order but dogs will be excluded from the play area on site.

Under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 it is a criminal offence (for the owner and/or the person in charge of the dog) to allow a dog to be ‘dangerously out of control’ in a public place.

The proposed order/control

The council propose to introduce a new dog fouling order which will include a fixed penalty for those who fail to clear up after their dog (the level agreed across Suffolk is £80).

We also propose to exclude dogs from entering certain locations that have been identified as those where there is the greatest risk of individuals contracting Toxocara Canin, an infection which can cause of blindness and may provoke rheumatic, neurological or asthmatic symptoms. We hope the order will prevent dogs from fouling within children’s play areas and certain fenced football pitch areas during football season (between the first week in August through to the second week in May).

The council and police will not be deploying any additional resources to enforce this order and will, as is currently the case, be reliant upon the communities support to report members of the public who are breaching the above conditions. The PSPO relating to dog fouling will apply to all wards in St Edmundsbury and the council will be approaching parish council’s within the borough to see if they’d like the order extended to include the exclusion of dogs in their play areas.

Please note, assistance dogs are exempt from this order.

Find out about and take part in the PSPO - St Edmundsbury - alcohol related anti-social behaviour and begging consultation