Opinions on measures against anti-social behaviour arising from dogs wanted

North Devon Gazette

Torridge District Council are seeking the views of Torridge residents on provisions to reduce anti-social behaviour arising from irresponsible dogs ownership.Â

A consultation on a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has opened and is running until March 28. If approved, the provisions will be in place for the next three years.Â

A PSPO is a measure designed to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in a public space. It enables local authorities to impose restrictions to tackle nuisance and in this case problem dog behaviour. A breach of a PSPO is a criminal offence and can result in a fixed penalty notice of £100 on breach of an order. Alternatively a fine of up to £1000 can be imposed by the court on conviction for the breach.Â

The proposed provisions are given in the draft Order but in summary it seeks to make the following offences:Â

  • Dog fouling – district wide and all yearÂ
  • Failing to put a dog on lead when requested to do so by an authorised Officer – district wide and all yearÂ
  • Areas where dogs must be kept on a lead – Victoria Park Bideford and Westward Ho! Park all year, and Westward Ho! promenade May 1- September 30Â
  • Dog Exclusion zones – a designated area of Westward Ho! beach May 1 – September 30, Westward Ho! Park enclosed tennis/sports area all year and enclosed children’s play areas district wide all year.Â

Torridge District Councillor Philip Hackett, lead member for the Environment, Health, Wellbeing, and Community Safety said: “Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) enable Local Authorities to deal with issues that are having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. Â

We absolutely recognise the benefits of dog ownership and support and thank responsible dog owners across the district. Unfortunately, a small minority of dog owners cause problems by way of not picking up fouling or controlling their dog giving rise to nuisance in our communities. This PSPO seeks to give our enforcement team the powers to deal with these issues.Â

Our aim is to keep our beaches and open spaces as welcoming as possible for all visitors to enjoy.Â

The Council welcome your comments on the proposed order.”Â

The draft PSPO, survey and maps of the areas it covers are available to view and comment on at: https://www.torridge.gov.uk/dogpspo and will remain accessible until the survey closes on March 28, 2022.Â