Dog Control Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Closes 31 Oct 2020

Opened 15 Sep 2020

Overview

The London Borough of Hackney currently operates Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs). The purpose of these PSPOs is to control a number of issues which arise as a result of people failing to exercise proper control of dogs in public places.

The current PSPOs are due to expire on 20 October 2020, and the Council is now considering whether to renew the PSPO, for a further three years until 20 October 2023.  The current PSPOs, which we are proposing to renew for a further three years can be viewed at hackney.gov.uk/dog-control-orders

Why is a Dog Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) required?

PSPOs are aimed at ensuring public spaces can be enjoyed free from anti-social behaviour. They are not about stopping the responsible use of public spaces - but they do provide councils with a tool to tackle persistent issues that are damaging their communities.

The vast majority of dog owners act responsibly, keeping their dogs under control and clearing up their dog’s waste. However, the council continues to receive complaints about dog-related negative behaviour and irresponsible dog owners.

In response to this, the Council is launching a consultation to ask residents their opinions about a variety of dog control related issues. The feedback from the consultation will help to shape and inform the dog control public space protection order (PSPO).

The prohibitions have been designed to be as simple as possible, giving clarity and outlining expectations.  Well behaved dogs can be walked or exercised freely off lead in all large parks. This promotes healthy exercise for dogs and takes into consideration the needs of the borough's dog owners and the welfare of dogs.

The proposed Dog Control PSPO will cover:

1. A ‘dog fouling of land’ order, which makes it an offence if dog owners do not remove their dog’s faeces from land within Hackney that is open to the air and accessible to the public. People who are registered as blind, disabled, or otherwise rely on dogs will be exempt from this order.  Failure to comply with the dog fouling control order may result in the issue of a £100 penalty and/or prosecution with a maximum fine up to £1,000.  This order applies to all land in Hackney and includes:

  • public roads, footpaths, cycle paths and verges adjacent to these roads
  • parks and recreational spaces, cemeteries and Council-owned allotments
  • school playing fields, playgrounds and any land surrounding schools and colleges
  • council-owned housing estate

2. A ‘dog exclusion’ order, which enables the Council to stop dogs from entering certain areas including children’s playgrounds, sports courts, multi-use games areas, marked pitches where games are in-play and dog free areas in parks.  

3. A ‘dogs on leads’ order, which  enables the Council to stop people from exercising dogs off-leads on roads, in car parks, churchyards, communal areas on estates and small public parks and gardens under half a hectare in size and Shepherdess Walk.  This order excludes canal towpaths, as these areas are managed by the Canal & River Trust rather than the Council.  

4. A ‘dogs on leads by direction’ order, which would give officers the power to request that dogs be put on leads where they are not under the appropriate control of their owner, or where they are causing damage or acting aggressively.

How would the PSPO be enforced?

If the person in charge of a dog fails to comply with the requirements of the order, they will be issued with £100 Fixed Penalty Notice and taken to court if the fine is not paid within the specified timeframe. A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1,000) unless:

  1. They have the consent from the owner, occupier or person in charge of the land, not to comply with the order
  2. They have a reasonable excuse for failing to comply, or
  3. They fall within one of the other exemptions within the order, such as the exemptions in the order for persons who are registered disabled and persons who have a registered assistance dog

How long would the PSPO last for?

We are proposing that the PSPO lasts for three years, until 20 October 2023, at which point we would decide whether to renew it in consultation with residents.

Have your say and what happens next?

We are currently reviewing the Dog Control PSPO and would like to hear your views on any aspects of the proposed PSPO.    Please complete the survey and provide us with your feedback.  

Please read the Equality Impact Assessment and the proposed orders before giving us your views.  

Further information:

The current PSPO and the areas it covers can be can viewed here:

hackney.gov.uk/dog-control-orders

For more information or if you have any questions about this consultation please contact:
Tel: 0208 356 3000             Email: consultation@hackney.gov.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Which areas in the borough will the PSPO apply to?

The PSPO will mirror the current provisions. A full list of the areas the order apply to can be found https://hackney.gov.uk/dog-control-orders

Will this proposed PSPO stop me from exercising my dog off of a lead?

Failing to keep a dog on a lead at all times when on the land identified in Schedule 2 of the order would be considered a breach of the PSPO.  Failing to comply with a direction given by an Authorised Officer of the Council to put and keep a dog on a lead would also be considered a breach of the PSPO.

What happens if there are other areas that people think should be included? Can these be included in this PSPO?

We welcome your views and comments on the consultation proposals.  All comments received in the consultation will be analysed and a report written, enabling the Council to make a decision on what should be included in the PSPO.

Does this PSPO apply to professional dog walkers?

Yes.  Nothing in this order shall apply to a person who –

  1. is registered as a blind person in a register compiled under section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948;
  2. is deaf, in respect of a dog trained by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People (registered charity number 293358) and upon which he relies for assistance;
  3. has a disability which affects his mobility, manual dexterity, physical coordination or ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, in respect of a dog trained by a Prescribed Charity and upon which he relies for assistance;
  4. a person who is training an assistance dog in an official capacity; or
  5. a dog used by the police or other agencies permitted by the Council for official purposes.

How will the PSPO be enforced?

The tasking of council resources where use of this power is necessary is managed through the Weekly Tasking Meeting which is chaired by the Community Safety Partnership Manager,.  Information about complaints and intelligence on incidences of anti social behaviour is presented and resources are tasked accordingly. The Weekly Tasking Meeting is attended by key Hackney Council departments, including Parks, the police and other external partners.

Officers able to enforce PSPOs include Council Officers (with delegated enforcement powers), Police Officers and PCSOs. If you witness a breach of the PSPO you can report it https://hackney.gov.uk/dog-fouling

What happens if I refuse to pay the fixed penalty notice?

A constable, police community support officer or council enforcement officer may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to anyone he or she believes has committed an offence under section 67 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. You will have 14 days to pay the fixed penalty of £100. If you pay the Fixed Penalty Notice within the 14 days you will not be prosecuted.  A person guilty of an offence under section 67 is liable on conviction in the Magistrates Court to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
 

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