The introduction of hiher on-the-spot fines for irresponsible dog owners has been welcomed by a park group in South Tyneside.
Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) were introduced to give local authorities more powers to tackle anti-social activities and recently replaced South Tyneside Council’s dog control orders - with fines increasing from £80 to £100.
They are now being used to deal with those who fail to control or pick up after their pets and any other breaches of dog control rules.
The tougher penalties has been welcomed by Paul Moore, Chairman of the Friends’ of West Park, in Jarrow.
He said: “Our volunteers work extremely hard to keep West Park Jarrow looking at its best, so it is very disheartening when dog walkers don’t pick up after their pets or dispose of the waste properly. It really spoils the area.
“It is also very disheartening that people allow their dogs to run over the flower beds. We see a lot of dog walkers coming through the park, not paying attention to the dog by either being on their mobile phone or in conversation with another dog walker.
“We welcome these new Public Space Protection Orders to help tackle dog control problems. Open spaces like West Park Jarrow are there for the enjoyment of the whole community and we have worked hard over the last eight years to make the park a Green flag park.”
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety, said: “Dog fouling is a serious issue and a huge concern for many people, not just because of the mess it makes, but because it can be harmful to people’s health.
“Most are responsible but there is still a minority of people who think that the laws do not apply to them and continue to spoil our public places for others. Their behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Ideally we wouldn’t have to issue any fines. We would much rather see dog owners acting responsibly and supporting us to keep our local communities clean and safe.”
People are also being encouraged to report incidents of dog fouling to the Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000. Calls will be treated in confidence. Dog fouling can also be reported online at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/dogfouling