There is significant evidence to suggest that dog fouling in our public places is an increasing problem and many councils across the country already have Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) which help them enforce responsible dog ownership and control.
Derby City Council is now proposing to introduce its own PSPO to combat the issue and is seeking the views of Derby residents on the matter. The order would mean that people not complying which the conditions in the order could be subject to an on the spot fine of up to £100, reduced to £75 if paid within 10 days.
The new PSPO would include two conditions. Firstly it would be an offence for a person in charge of a dog not to remove faeces if their dog defecates on any land, and secondly, that a person in charge of a dog should be able to produce a device for or other suitable means of removing dog faeces and transporting it to a bin, whether or not the dog has defecated. In both cases, this is unless permission was granted or the person had received an exemption.
We know that we need to balance things that people want in order to feel safer and happier in public areas, whilst at the same time not stopping people from enjoying themselves or introducing rules and regulations that cannot be enforced.
PSPOs were introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 as a way of dealing with a particular nuisance or problem that is negatively affecting the local community’s quality of life. The Council already has two orders that it currently enforces in the city centre and other neighbourhoods which were introduced in 2017. These include measures to deal with intoxicating substances; begging; drinking alcohol; urinating or defecating in public; loitering if causing anti-social behaviour; and nuisance cause by skateboards, scooters or bicycles.
Councils can decide to introduce PSPOs for different reasons, they can be restrictions that affect everyone or targeted towards certain groups, or types of behaviour, at certain times of day. Orders can be enforced by a police officer, police community support officer (PCSO) and delegated council officers. A breach of the order is a criminal offence with a fixed penalty notice of up to £100, or a fine of £1,000 on prosecution.
Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Communities and Streetpride said:
“For this consultation, we have collected a body of evidence from a broad range of sources including contributions from local stakeholders. We have put together these initial suggestions with the view that if adopted, they would make a real impact around the city. We would be grateful to hear the views of residents so we can consider our next steps.“