Dog Control Orders on Cabinet Agenda
Proposals to extend the Council's current powers for dog control across South Tyneside are set to be considered by Cabinet members next week (Wednesday 4 November).
The Council is seeking approval to renew the Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) that help officers to deal with the minority of people who fail to control or clean up after their dogs. The Orders also cover other breaches of dog control rules, such as dogs being in areas where restrictions are in place.
Cabinet will be asked to agree that the PSPOs continue for the next three years, after a recent public consultation exercise showed that the majority of participants were in support of the measures.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "Our parks and open spaces are well used by residents and visitors to the Borough and it is important that they remain safe and enjoyable for everyone.
"While the vast majority of dog owners do act responsibly, there is still a small minority of people who do not exercise proper control over their dogs. This has a detrimental impact on our public spaces and is a key concern in our communities.
"PSPOs are important and effective tools in helping to deter dog fouling, keep our play areas safe, ensure people are able to control the number of dogs they have with them and put them on a lead if required or when requested.
"Following a review of the consultation feedback, it is recommended that the PSPOs are renewed. If approved, they will help the Council to continue its work in tackling this form of environmental crime and anti-social behaviour, with the powers to take enforcement action when it is appropriate to do so."
The PSPOs for dog control cover issues such as:
- Dog fouling- dog owners must remove their dog's mess immediately;
- Dogs on Lead - dog owners must keep dogs on leads no longer that 1.5m in South Marine Park and all cemeteries in the Borough at all times;
- Dogs on Lead Direction Order - dog owners must put and keep their dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;
- Dogs Exclusion Order - dog owners must prevent their dogs from entering all enclosed children's play areas and school playing fields. In addition, Sandhaven Beach is a dog exclusion zone from 1 May to 30 September, from 8am to 6pm;
- Dogs Specified Maximum Order - dog owners must ensure that they are in control of no more than four dogs at any one time.
The PSPOs gives enforcement officers the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £100. Failure to pay may lead to prosecution and a court fine of up to £1,000.
The PSPOs were introduced in October 2017, replacing previous Dog Controls Orders in South Tyneside. If approved by Cabinet, they will be extended for a further three years, when they must be reviewed again.