North Tyneside has controls in place aimed at deterring and tackling problems in public places relating to irresponsible dog ownership and the irresponsible consumption of alcohol. These controls are known as Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs).
The power to make PSPOs was brought about by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and are designed to tackle activities that have had, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the quality of life of local communities.
What PSPOs are currently in place?
The PSPOs currently in place were introduced in October 2017 where; following a public consultation exercise; the council used the opportunity to preserve what was previously in place under by-laws and other types of regulation and extend coverage of what was in place.
For example, the control of dogs was extended to exclude dogs from all play sites, not just some sites, and the restriction on the consumption of alcohol in a public space was extended from specified designated areas to include the whole borough.
The document below summarises what is in place.
What is the effect of a PSPO?
It is a criminal offence, without reasonable excuse, to breach the terms of a PSPO.
A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) can be issued by an authorised officer or police constable.The fixed penalty is currently set at the statutory maximum of £100 but this is reduced to £75 if paid within 14 days.Should the fixed penalty not be paid, or the circumstances warrant it, the offender would be prosecuted.
The council has a published Statement of Enforcement Policy which is based on taking a proportionate approach towards achieving compliance with the law. Considerable community engagement is undertaken by our community protection and environment teams. In some circumstances formal enforcement is however required.
A total of 49 FPNs have been issued between October 2017 and March 2020. Six out of ten Fixed Penalty Notices issued have been in relation to dog fouling offences and three out ten for dog control offences. Following the PSPOs being made in October 2017, the number of reported dog fouling incidents has decreased year on year, whereas prior to this, the number of reported incidents had been showing a steady increase since 2013/14. During 2019/20, there were 449 dog fouling incidents reported to the Authority, 424 in 2018/19, compared to 585 incidents during 2017/18 and 537 in 2016/17.
How long does a PSPO have effect?
When a PSPO is made it legally cannot last for more than 3 years unless formally extended. The PSPOs made by the council were extended on 19 October 2020, after the formal consultation period, for another 3 years.