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Enforcement powers for irresponsible dog owners


A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) means we can fine irresponsible dog owners.

Icon for pdf Public Space Protection Order video transcript (PDF, 105.0kb)

Background information

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 brought in Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs). From consultation, over 80 per cent of people supported the Order, positively agreeing it would:

  • help create safe and welcoming play areas
  • reduce the number of stray dogs
  • enable authorised staff to request dogs are put on leads when necessary
  • tackle dog fouling issues

What does the PSPO mean for dog owners?

It is an offence in County Durham if you:

  • allow a dog to foul without picking it up (already an offence and continues under the PSPO)
  • allow a dog to stray (ie allow a dog to wander/roam loose/exercise without a responsible owner)
  • fail to put a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised person (council staff, neighbourhood warden or Durham Constabulary police officer)
  • allow dogs in designated fenced off fixed play areas (ie dogs are not allowed in specified areas where slides, swings and/or climbing equipment is contained by a fence). Fenced off play sites affected by the PSPO will display a sign advising that dogs are not allowed in. 

Fenced off play areas where dogs are not allowed

Enforcement/penalties

Neighbourhood wardens, trained council staff and Durham Constabulary will have the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100 for breaching any aspect of the PSPO. The FPN is reduced to £60 if paid within ten working days.

If the FPN is not paid, you will be taken to Court and prosecuted. The maximum fine is £1,000.

Exemptions

The PSPO does not apply to a person who is registered as blind, or is disabled or who uses a trained assistance dog. 

Parks

As well as the dog control powers included in the PSPO, other dog control arrangements may apply in parks, such as Hardwick ParkWharton Park and Chester-le-Street Riverside Park.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please see our  Icon for pdf Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (PDF, 463.5kb)  for more details.

#FollowOurLead campaign

Our #FollowOurLead campaign involves our Civic Pride team and Neighbourhood wardens educating and engaging with dog owners to promote responsible dog ownership across the county. Download our  Icon for pdf #FollowOurLead educational postcard (PDF, 313.9kb)  and  Icon for pdf #FollowOurLead educational poster (PDF, 448.7kb)  for further details.

Report a dog issue

Dangerous dogs or emergency dog situations should be reported directly to the Police. Call 999.

 

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