In 2016 Durham County Council carried out a consultation on implementing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control.
The purpose of the PSPO is to help protect parks and open spaces against irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after, or control, their dogs properly. It will help the following:
- reduce dog fouling
- reduce the number of stray dogs and make it easier to return stray dogs to their owners by checking dogs are microchipped
- better control of dogs in public areas
- safer and more welcoming play areas
- improve the local community and environment
Over eighty 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 officers to request dogs are put on leads when necessary and tackle dog fouling issues.
Durham County Council has now agreed the PSPO and from 1 June 2017 it will be an offence in County Durham to:
- Allow a dog to foul without picking it up
- Allow a dog to stray – roam loose/wander/exercise without a responsible owner present
- Fail to put a dog on a lead when asked by an authorised officer – Council officer or Durham Police
- Allow dogs in designated fenced off play sites – dogs are not allowed into designated fenced off play sites
Anyone who fails to comply will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100. This will be reduced to £60 if paid within 10 working days. The maximum fine is £1,000.
For more information on the PSPO, including Frequently Asked Questions, a list of fenced off play areas included in the PSPO and details of free Dogs Trust health check event, visit www.durham.gov.uk/dogcontrol