MEASURES TO ENFORCE responsible dog ownership in public spaces will be set in place for another three years, following overwhelming support during a public consultation. Durham County Council introduced the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) on dog control in June 2017, which was valid for three years. The following were deemed an offence under the order:
· Failing to pick up dog mess
· Allowing a dog to stray
· Failing to put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer
· Allowing a dog into any fenced-off play area named in the PSPO
From June 2017 to May 2020, there was a 32% reduction in stray dog reports, a 45% reduction in dog fouling, and an 18% reduction in dog fouling warden investigations.
Earlier this year, the local authority opened a consultation on the extension of the PSPO to address issues of dog fouling, public safety and strays. This came back with 98% of respondents thinking an extension was a good idea. Parish councils were also consulted on the extension, with a small number asking for a variation for their locality to include fenced off play areas which were not included in the PSPO. The PSPO measures have been extended until May 2023.
Anyone caught flouting the rules can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by council neighbourhood wardens and police community support officers.
Find out more, including advice for dog owners, penalty information, and more about the council’s #FollowOurLead campaign, at: www.durham.gov.uk/dogcontrol