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Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour relating to dogs: Updating our enforcement tools

Meeting: 18/04/2017 - Communities, Housing and Environment Committee (Item 86)

86 Report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm - Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour relating to dogs: Updating our enforcement tools pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.  That a formal consultation be undertaken for a 1 month period on the introduction of 3 Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to update and improve the enforcement tools available to officers when dealing with irresponsible dog owners;

2.  That the fixed penalty notice available for each PSPO be set at £100 in line with other PSPOs; and

3.  That representations made in the public consultation be considered by the Head of Environment and Public Realm as detailed in Section 6 before the Head of Housing and Community Services makes the PSPOs unless there are significant relevant objections when there would be a report back to Committee.

Minutes:

The Environmental Enforcement Manager presented a report on the formal process of replacing the existing Dog Control Orders with updated enforcement measures.

 

The Committee was informed that a consultation had been undertaken with residents and visitors to Maidstone in relation to controls for dogs in the borough.  The survey was conducted to establish awareness levels around the removal of specific bins for dog waste and the success of the accompanying campaign about how dog waste could be disposed of in the regular litter bins.

It was noted that the current Dog Control Orders would convert to Public Space Protection Orders in October 2017 and would stay in place for a maximum of 3 years before they needed to be reviewed.

The Environmental Enforcement Manager advised that he had reviewed the current Dog Control Orders and considered that the fixed penalty level should be more in line with other offences and that provision should be made to extend the current orders to other areas that should be protected.  The proposed measures for the PSPOs would be subject to a public consultation to be run in the Spring and was as follows:-

 

1.  To increase the current fixed penalty notice for dog fouling from £75 to £100.  The maximum fine through prosecution would remain at £1000.

2.  To extend the current order which applied to enclosed children’s play areas to open plan play areas.

3.  To make it an offence for a dog to be in the cemetery grounds without being on a lead.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Environmental Enforcement Manager advised that:-

 

·  The fixed penalty notice for dog fouling could not be increased above £100 due to legislation.

·  That covert work was being carried out in local parks where particular problems had arisen.

·  That a policy of more dogs on leads would reduce the level of fouling and the amount of anti-social behaviour of some dogs.

·  The Dog Watch campaign encouraged people to inform on others who had not picked up their dog waste and disposed of it appropriately.

·  The Cemetery had experienced problems of dogs being allowed to run loose and this had been considered anti-social.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  That a formal consultation be undertaken for a 1 month period on the introduction of 3 Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to update and improve the enforcement tools available to officers when dealing with irresponsible dog owners;

2.  That the fixed penalty notice available for each PSPO be set at £100 in line with other PSPOs; and

3.  That representations made in the public consultation be considered by the Head of Environment and Public Realm as detailed in Section 6 before the Head of Housing and Community Services makes the PSPOs unless there are significant relevant objections when there would be a report back to Committee.

Voting:  For:  9  Against:  0  Abstentions: 0