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new cardiff > ENG > Resident > Leisure, Parks and Culture > Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) – Proposed Dog Controls

Cardiff Council is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in relation to dogs. 

Cardiff Council has the responsibility for the management and maintenance of public spaces across the city. These spaces include parks, adopted highways, sports grounds, Schools and cemeteries. 

We have a number of parks and open spaces for dog walkers to take advantage of and we understand that dogs need to be exercised. The majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their dogs and we do not want to prohibit them from enjoying the open spaces that Cardiff has to offer. However, as you may be aware there are persistent issues across Cardiff, specifically where dog faeces are not being removed by dog owners. 

Despite the number of interventions that Cardiff has tried over the years such as educational interventions across different parts of the city, there continues to be a growing concern across Cardiff in relation to dogs, specifically in relation to dog fouling.

In order to tackle these issues, the Council has the authority to implement a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. A PSPO can prohibit or restrict certain activities and are designed to ensure that the law abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour. 

A PSPO would replace the current outdated byelaws and restrictions that are currently in place. The PSPO can last for 3 years and if breached an authorised officer could issue a Fixed Penalty Notice up to £100, which if not paid could be increased to £1,000. 

The Council must consult with members of the public and other key stakeholders in order to introduce the new order and we would like your views on the following proposed restrictions;

  • ​The prohibition of dog fouling in all public places owned and/or maintained by the Council.
  • The exclusion of dogs in all enclosed playgrounds, marked sports pitches and Schools, which are owned and/or maintained by Cardiff Council. 
  • A requirement that dogs are kept on leads within all Cemeteries owned and/or maintained by Cardiff Council. 
  • Increasing the charge for a breach of the PSPO to £100.
  • A requirement allowing authorised officers to give a direction that a dog(s) be put and kept on a lead if necessary.

Please note that there are exemptions from a PSPO and these will not apply to a person; 

  • Who is partially sighted or blind and registered under, Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948 
  • Who is registered as sight impaired, severely sight impaired or as having sight and hearing impairments, registered under 18 of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014
  • Who has a disability which affects their mobility or any other disability, where the requirement of removing faeces would be unreasonable.

A PSPO will not apply to working dogs, which are used for emergency search and rescue, law enforcement, HM armed forces or used for directing animals, these will also be exempt. 

The proposal does not include the banning of dogs from parks, but is proposing to ban/exclude dogs from marked sports pitches when they are marked and the season they are in use. This would only apply when the sports pitches are marked; this may be a seasonal ban prohibiting dogs from entering marked sports pitches when they are in use during certain times of the year.

Also the proposal includes the banning of dogs from School grounds and enclosed playgrounds. This is consistent with current Byelaws in place.

We welcome further feedback from park users on this aspect of the consultation to assist the Council in making an informed decision.

Should the current proposals become an actual Public Space Protection Order and a breach of one of the restriction is witnessed by an authorised officer, the officer can decide to either take the offence to be heard in a legal Court or issue a fixed penalty notice.

The level of fine by taking the case to a court hearing is currently set to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale which is currently £1000 (plus any costs associated with brining the case to court).

If however the officer decides to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice it is proposed that Cardiff Council’s level of fixed penalty notices is raised from £80 to £100.

Following the issue of a fixed penalty notice, the payment is not made in full within the required timescale then court proceedings could be initiated.

It would be foreseeable that the majority of cases would be dealt with by the issue of Fixed Penalty Notice.

This proposal does not mean that a dog cannot foul but that it would be an offence if the owners or the person responsible for that dog(s) failed to remove the dog faeces. We will review the current wording in the consultation to ensure this is clear in any Order that may be made.

It is not the Council’s intention to penalise responsible dog owners but to tackle owners / persons responsible who do not pick up dog faeces after their dog(s) have fouled, or are seen to be irresponsible in not controlling the dog’s behaviour.

The Council believes that the proposals are a proportionate approach to addressing irresponsible dog ownership. Responsible dog owners will already be complying with the majority, if not all proposed controls and would therefore not be affected should these proposals become a Public Space Protection Order.

The feedback we are receiving highlights the role of education to better inform children and others regarding the health implications associated with dog faeces. This is something that will be considered once the consultation has ended and responses have been analysed.
Should a Public Spaces Protection Order be made to control dogs, then such an order will be publicised and the precise format of signage will need to be designed and erected in each area. We will refer to all relevant guidance and legal requirements when signs are designed and erected.

The consultation period is an opportunity for the public to provide feedback so that the Council can make a proportionate response to the anti‐social behaviour associated with irresponsible dog ownership. The Council believes that prohibiting dogs from marked sports pitches is the most appropriate response.

There are two main issues with dogs and sports pitches, firstly the risk to players from dog faeces that has not been removed by its owner and secondly dogs that are not under control whilst sports are being played.

Feedback on this element of the proposals will be considered after consultation has closed.

Litter prevention continues to be a priority for the Council. A number of consultations and initiatives are ongoing in this area. Findings from this consultation will be considered in collaboration with a wide range of other available data.
The feedback from this consultation will assist the Council in deciding upon the most appropriate means of tackling anti‐social behaviour from irresponsible dog ownership. The issue of free dog bags is not something that is included in this proposal. Dog owners need to be responsible for their dogs however the issuing of free dog bags is something the Council could, in the longer term consider, as part of a range of tools to address dog fouling on public land.
The Council are not proposing to ban dogs from the whole of a park, only from enclosed play areas, marked sports pitches and schools which are owned and/or maintained by Cardiff Council. It is considered that there are ample alternative areas for dogs to be exercised however we are seeking feedback on this element of the proposals.
We would welcome feedback in detail on specific areas where the public think there needs to be better provision for disposing of litter and the frequency of emptying of bins. This is a topic within the survey, the findings of which will help shape the decision on future provision across the City.
We will analyse all responses made after the consultation period has ended (22nd October 2018) and compile a summary of the responses as part of a report for Cabinet to make a decision on what controls, if any, the final order should include.

​Have your say

The consultation ran from the 10th September 2018 until the 22nd October 2018.

If you have any questions please contact us.