Liverpool City Council: Dogs to be banned from playgrounds and instant fines for dog poo

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Liverpool City Council is set to punish dog owners who let their pets foul in public places – and then don’t dispose of it.

Liverpool City Council is to introduce a city-wide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that will see owners fined for failing to bag and dispose of dog mess.

The proposals went out to public consultation this summer, after 1,865 complaints regarding dog mess between January 2020 and January 2022. Almost 80% of respondents supported the proposed protection order and the council’s Highways and Public Spaces Committee approved its introduction on November 8.

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Rules of the PSPO

The Public Space Protection Order will also see dogs banned from childrens’ play areas and fully enclosed sports grounds, such as football pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens. Certain individuals will be exempt from the order - such as those using disability dogs.

Owners will be required to put their pet on a lead in all of the city’s cemeteries and crematoria, as well as St Johns Gardens in the city centre. Authorised officers will have the right to ask owners to put dogs on leads if found to be flouting the rules.

Although dogs are already excluded from a number of public areas, under the 1994 Control of Dogs Byelaws, the issuing of fixed penalty notice. The new order will allow Council Enforcement Officers, Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers to give out on-the spot fines of £80 - which can rise to up to £1,000 if taken to court.

Once the PSPO is legally sealed and published later this week, the council will then install new signage in the city’s affected areas. At this point, the order will become enforceable.

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What’s been said?

Councillor Liam Robinson, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “We’ve listened to all those who have complained about this issue over the past few years, and I’m glad to say Liverpool City Council has acted. Our parks and open spaces are hugely important community assets – as the Covid-19 pandemic vividly underlined – and we can’t let a minority ruin the joy they bring for everyone else.

“The council has invested millions of pounds in upgrading our play areas and we need to ensure they are kept as clean and tidy as possible for families and their children to enjoy. Dogs not on leads in public spaces has also become a concern, as our colleagues in Merseyside Police can testify, and we’ve had too many reports of deaths to wildlife in our parks to just sit here and do nothing.”

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