Go ahead given for new dog controls in Darlington

Go ahead given for new dog controls in Darlington
04 August 2020

Council leaders in Darlington have given the go ahead to replace existing control orders and bye-laws relating to dogs.

Members of Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the plan to replace all existing Dog Control Orders in the borough with a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), which will come into force on 7 September.

It will also see the removal of bye-laws banning dogs from local cemeteries as the new PSPO will allow access with dogs providing they are kept on leads and owners clean up after their pets.

The move follows an extensive 12-week consultation, during which almost 900 people responded to an online survey. The vast majority supported the plan, although many disagreed with proposals to continue the ban of dogs from cemeteries and restricting the number of dogs walked by one person to no more than four.

Having listened to residents, the council agreed they would not be included in the new PSPO, which will cover:

  • Failure to remove dog faeces
  • Not keeping a dog on a lead on specified land
  • Not putting and keeping a dog on a lead when directed by an authorised officer
  • Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded (including children’s play areas and areas for sporting recreation)
  • Not keeping a dog on a lead in East, North and West Cemeteries.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said:

“We listened to the views of residents and, following discussions with various organisations, our original proposals were changed and the new PSPO will not include a restriction on the number of dogs one person can walk.

“Dogs will also be allowed in cemeteries, so long as they are kept on leads and people clean up after them.

“The new PSPO will make it clearer what the rules are in relation to dogs in the borough and we would urge those with dogs to be responsible – make sure you know where you need to keep your dog on a lead, where they are not allowed and clean up after your pet.

“Having a dog brings many rewards, but also responsibilities and our Civic Enforcement Officers will be enforcing the rules while out on patrol. We are watching you and we will take action if you are caught breaching the rules.”

Where a PSPO is in force a police officer, police community support officer, a council civic enforcement officer or other council officer witnessing behaviour that breaches its conditions may challenge the individual concerned and ask them to comply. If the individual does not comply with the request, an offence is committed.

An offence involving a PSPO can be punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 or by a fixed penalty of up to £100.

The PSPO will come into force on 7 September and will run for a three-year period, at which time it will be renewed or cease.