Public Spaces Protection Order relating to dog control

The council is inviting local people to have their say on proposals to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) relating to dog control in Caerphilly county borough.

The need for these proposals were identified following the council’s Household Survey 2015, where over 40% of respondents felt that dog fouling was a major issue affecting the appearance of streets in neighbourhoods and town centres.

We are continually looking at ways to improve and consequently have developed proposals for additional legal controls relating to dogs, which members of the public are invited to give their views on.

An informal consultation was initially carried out over a 3 month period from April 2016 and the draft order has been amended to take on board the outcomes of the initial public consultation. As a result, the exclusion of dogs from council owned sports/playing pitches has being removed from the revised draft order.

We are keen to consult with residents on a number of proposals:

  • Continuing to exclude dogs from all enclosed children’s play areas within the county borough

  • Require dogs to be kept on leads in enclosed memorial gardens situated in the county borough

  • Require dog owners to remove dog faeces on any land. The replacements proposals will cover all public places in the county borough which is defined in the act as any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by the virtue of express or implied permission

  • Require dog walkers to carry an appropriate receptacle for dealing with the waste that dog dog(s) produce. This requirement aims to ensure that dog walkers always have the means (i.e. a receptacle) to pick up their dog’s faeces

  • Require dog owners to put their dogs on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer on any public land where the dog is considered to be out of control or causing alarm or distress or to prevent a nuisance

Consultation on the proposed PSPO

The public consultation period runs from 19 June to 21 July 2017. You can take part in the consultation by completing our survey.

Related documents

Paper and alternative formats can be requested from publicengagement@caerphilly.gov.uk or by calling 01443 864354.

For all other enquiries relating to this consultation please contact Environmental Health on 01443 811351.

Next steps

All comments and feedback from the consultation will be considered before the final PSPO is made. 

Background information on the making of a Public Spaces Protection Order Relating to Dog Control

What are PSPOs?

PSPOs are a new provision, created by the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 intended to deal with any particular nuisances or problems in a defined area that are detrimental to the local community's quality of life. They can help by giving local authorities and police additional powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. The aim is to stop individuals or groups committing anti-social behaviour in public spaces by introducing restrictions on the use of an area.

If anyone fails to meet the requirements of the PSPO or to comply with a request from a police office, police community support officer (PCSO) or authorised council officer, they could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of up to £100 or prosecuted. However, these measures are designed to deal with extremes of anti-social behaviour and authorised officers will take a proportionate and common sense approach in their application.

The proposed PSPO in Caerphilly CBC will replace current dog fouling legislation, and Dog Control Orders (DCOs), as well as introduce new measures to help tackle irresponsible dog owners. 

The new PSPO will consolidate the existing dog fouling powers we have under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 and the current Dog Control Orders from the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2006 into a single Order.

The proposed new powers aim to enhance the council's ability to deal with irresponsible dog owners by making it an offence to fail to put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer, allowing a dog onto marked sports playing pitches and enclosed memorial gardens. It would also be an offence not to have the means to pick up their dog's faeces when asked to do so - this would mean that if a dog walker could not produce, when requested by an authorised officer, a poop bag or similar they would risk being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Please note that a registered blind person, or a person with a disability affecting their mobility, manual dexterity or ability to lift, carry or move everyday objects and who relies upon a dog trained by a prescribed charity for assistance is exempt from the dog fouling order.

Draft Public Spaces Protection Order

The proposed PSPO addresses the following anti-social behaviour issues:

  1. Dog fouling (replacing current legislation) - the continuation of the existing power that makes it an offence if a person in charge of a dog fails to clean up its faeces. The replacement proposal will cover all public places in the county borough which is defined in the Act as any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission.

  2. Dogs on leads when directed (a new proposal) - the introduction of a new offence for failing to put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer on any land where the dog is considered to be out of control or causing alarm or distress or to prevent a nuisance.

  3. Dogs on leads in specified areas (a new proposal) - the introduction of a new offence for failing to put a dog on a lead in enclosed memorial gardens.

  4. Dog exclusion in specified areas (replacing current DCO) - the continuation of the existing power that makes it an offence to allow a dog onto Caerphilly CBC owned land which have been designated to exclude dogs, All fenced children's playgrounds and Multi Use Games Areas. 

  5. Failing to produce a receptacle for picking up dog faeces (a new proposal) - the introduction of a new offence which would require dog walkers to carry an appropriate receptacle for dealing with the waste that their dog/s produce.  This requirement aims to ensure that dog walkers always have the means (i.e. a receptacle) to pick up their dog’s faeces.

Dog Control Order and dog fouling legislation provides exemptions in particular cases for registered blind people, deaf people and for other members of the public with disabilities who make use of trained assistance dogs. Consideration will be given to the application of these exemptions across the different proposals. 

Once implemented the PSPO will remain in place for three (3) years after which it can be renewed.  The PSPO can also be varied at any time within this period.