Dog control Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO)
We want everyone to be able to enjoy our public spaces, and sometimes that means having rules to make sure that can happen.
We've brought in restrictions in some of the parks and open spaces around Chesterfield to govern where dogs can go and when they should be kept on leads. This will help us tackle dog fouling and nuisance dog behaviour problems.
Responsible owners know that their dogs should be kept away from children's play areas, or kept on leads in certain places, and our new dog control PSPO (public spaces protection order) shows clearly where that should happen.
Some of the PSPO areas replace dog control orders that were already in force, and some are completely new. In 2016 we consulted our residents about our PSPO plans before finalising them, find out more here.
A PSPO is a public spaces protection order.
It is a legal document, drawn up by the council, that allows us to restrict activities in public spaces where they could have a harmful effect on other people.
The aim is to improve the enjoyment of public spaces for the majority of people, and reduce anti-social behaviour caused by dog fouling and nuisance dogs.
The dog control PSPO is a new power under the Anti–Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and replaces Dog Control Orders.
Public spaces should be available for everyone to enjoy.
Sometimes an activity or behaviour, even if it isn't intended to be anti-social, can cause a nuisance to other people.
If the activity causes (or is likely to cause) a harmful effect on the quality of life of local people, is ongoing and is unreasonable, then we can use a PSPO to restrict it.
The new dog control PSPO will come into force at some point in October 2017.
At this point any previous Dog Control Orders will no longer apply.
The PSPO lasts for three years.
The dog control PSPO controls activities that could lead to dog fouling and nuisance dog behaviour.
Full details of the offences you could commit if you ignore the PSPO are contained in the order, but in general you will be committing an offence if you:
- allow your dog to foul and don't clean it up - not being aware that your dog has fouled, or not having anything with you to clean it up is not an excuse.
- let your dog off the lead in a restricted area - you can see the areas affected and times the restrictions apply on our maps.
- don't put your dog on a lead when a council officer tells you to - our officers will only tell you to put your dog on its lead if it needs restraining to prevent a nuisance or behaviour to another person, or to a bird or another animal.
- allow your dog into an excluded area - you can see the dog exclusion zones on our maps.
If you ignore the rules contained in the dog control PSPO you could be fined:
- £80 on the spot (a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’)
- up to £1,000 if it goes to court.
You won’t be fined if you have an exemption from the dog control PSPO (see below).
The dog control PSPO will apply to most people, if you are in charge of a dog you are responsible for it (even if you are not the legal owner).
There are some exemptions though, and the order won't apply to anyone that:
- is registered blind - under Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948
- has a physical disability - that affects their mobility, manual dexterity, physical coordination etc, in respect of a registered assistance dog
- has written permission/exemption - from Chesterfield Borough Council.
Full details of these exemptions can be found in the dog control PSPO.