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Review of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog ownership 2023

Tell us what you think about expanding the Public Space Protection Order we have in place to deal with issues arising from irresponsible dog ownership.

What was the outcome?

A new PSPO will come into force on 1 June 2023. It reflects the views from the consultation, which attracted 844 responses from the general public and organisations such as the Kennel Club, police, and town and parish councils. The Order increases the list of offences from six to nine.

A proposal to introduce a seasonal dog ban on Seaham's small slope beach has not occurred as there was low support for it and we received a 1,240 name petition objecting to it, with some local businesses concerned about a potential negative impact on trade.

You can read about the PSPO on our Enforcement powers for irresponsible dog owners page.


We introduced Enforcement powers for irresponsible dog owners in 2017 to tackle issues in local communities from irresponsible dog ownership. The order, which was supported by 80% of people who responded to our consultation, makes it an offense to:

  • allow a dog to foul without picking it up
  • allow a dog to stray
  • fail to put a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised person (council staff, neighbourhood wardens or police officer)
  • allow a dog in a fenced off play area it should not be in (a notice will be displayed warning of this)

Owners can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) of £100 if they do any of these things.

The introduction of the PSPO has helped us:

  • create safer and more welcoming play areas
  • reduce the number of stray dogs
  • tackle dog fouling issues

What we proposed

Despite these improvements, dog fouling and other dog related issues remain a key area of concern for communities across the county. We therefore proposed to expand the PSPO to tackle other issues. The current PSPO runs to May 2023, so we asked for your views on expanding the PSPO to include the following.

Have your say

The closing date for comments was 5.00pm on Monday 13 March 2023. Thank you to all those who responded.


Contact us
03000 263 593