We know that most dog owners in our borough act responsibly, keeping their dogs under control and clearing up after them. However, there is still a need for us to act upon complaints of irresponsible owners. A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has now been put in place across the whole of the Wigan borough.
What is a Public Spaces Protection Order?
PSPOs are powers that are available to local authorities to deal with anti-social behaviour and to ensure that communities are great places for everybody to live.
The PSPO for Dog Control aims to assist dog owners to behave responsibly in areas that are enjoyed by many other user groups. The order outlines requirements and restrictions to encourage responsible dog ownership and ensure that shared spaces are usable and accessible for all of Wigan’s residents.
A PSPO is a legislative power that is an enforceable part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. PSPOs can be used to protect the public from behaviour that is having or is likely to have a harmful effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and is persistent and unreasonable or is likely to be.
Following consultation with residents of the Borough, Elected Members and professional dog advisory groups the decision was made to implement a PSPO. The Order has been delayed by the pandemic several times.
This Order will be in place for up to three years until March 2025. During that time, it is possible to review the restrictions and consider any changes to the order if it is felt necessary.
What does this mean in Wigan Borough?
The following requirements / restrictions summarised below are included within the Order for Wigan Borough:
- Failure to remove your dog’s fouling forthwith
- Restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by one person to a maximum of 4 dogs on or off the lead
- Prohibit dogs from entering enclosed playgrounds and fenced sports pitches, including multi use game sport facilities
- Prohibit dogs from entering marked sports pitches during specified times
- Dogs to be kept on a lead within all cemeteries and crematoria
- Dogs to be placed on a lead when directed by an authorised officer to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to members of the public
- Dog walkers need to present the ‘means to pick up’ dog foul when requested to do so by an authorised officer.
Fines (Fixed Penalty Notice) for not complying with the Dog related PSPO
You may be fined for not complying with the Order.
Authorised Officers will always be able to show you their identity badge or produce their authorisation.
The current penalty level is set in legislation as £100 to be paid within 28 days.
See more details on Fixed Penalty Notices.
Exemptions to the Dog-related PSPO
Exemptions apply which mainly relate to those with poor dexterity or disability preventing them from collecting dog poo, as well as enabling those with assistance dogs to access dog excluded areas, these are described in the Order. Additionally, some landowners have exempted their land from some or all of the restrictions.