A NEW public spaces protection order (PSPO) to tackle dog-related problems in Cambridge is now in place.
The PSPO, introduced by Cambridge City Council following a public consultation last year, aims to reduce nuisance from uncontrolled dogs in parks, playgrounds and public spaces, and to enforce the obligation on owners to keep dogs on leads in some areas.
It outlines action that council enforcement officers can take in the case of antisocial behaviour by dog owners, and a number of requirements for dog owners in public areas, including:
- Dogs being excluded from fenced children’s play areas, bowling greens, tennis courts and outdoor paddling pools;
- Requiring all dogs to be on leads in Newmarket Road Cemetery, parts of Cherry Hinton Hall and Histon Road Cemetery as well as some children’s play areas;
- Clearing up immediately after their dog has fouled in any street or open space;
- Dogs to be kept under control at all times when off the lead, and if an owner or handler cannot do this then authorised officers can request the dog be put on a lead.
The PSPO replaces the previous system of Dog Control Orders in parks and public spaces. Although the same offences are covered by the PSPO it allows the council to vary it as necessary when responding to particular issues in a particular location. It could also apply to public rights of way, including roads, where dog control orders could not.
Authorised officers will be able to issue people in breach of the PSPO with a fixed penalty of £75. If taken to the Magistrates’ Court the maximum fine for committing an offence under the PSPO is currently £1000.
As part of the new PSPO there are now new dog exclusion areas in Ainsdale, Ravensworth Gardens and Peverel Road, and a new dogs on lead area at Cherry Hinton Hall.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Council, said: “This is the third PSPO we have introduced, following ones to tackle street drinking in the Mill Road area and nuisance punt touts in the city centre.
“The new dog control PSPO is aimed at the small proportion of dog owners who sometimes behave irresponsibly in our open spaces, and provides us with a more flexible way of tackling any issues as they arise.”
The PSPO came into force on 19 October for a period of three years.