Urinating in public and dog fouling - 30 antisocial offenders caught in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 12:16 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 23 March 2018

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Thirty people have fallen foul of antisocial behaviour orders introduced by North Somerset Council in the autumn.

The authority says it has adopted a ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to offences such as littering and dog fouling, with notices having been distributed district-wide in the scheme’s first few months.

The public space protection orders (PSPOs) were brought in by the council in late-October and were designed to strengthen legislation to ensure antisocial behaviour could be tackled either through warnings, a fine or via court action if required.

About 100 council staff, police officers and Business Improvement District wardens are permitted to enforce the orders. In the opening two months, they focussed on giving verbal warnings but have stepped up their efforts in recent weeks.

So far, 30 people have been reported for contravening the orders.

Littering has accounted for 40 per cent of those cases.

One dog owner has been caught not clearing up their pet’s mess, while another five were spotted allowing their dogs to run free in areas where animals were meant to be kept on a lead.

Other offences include four antisocial behaviour acts in car parks and five at Weston Town Hall, plus three people were caught urinating in a public place.

Cllr Peter Bryant, the executive member for environment, said: “We have adopted a zero-tolerance approach to littering and dog fouling.

“This has resulted in nine fixed penalty notices being issued so far and in two cases the council is considering prosecution, particularly in the case of someone repeatedly not picking up after their dog.

“Cases not involving littering or dog fouling are likely to receive a warning in the first instance.

“However, it’s made quite clear that if the behaviour is repeated then a fine or a prosecution will follow.”

The new orders have replaced existing dog control orders, designated public place orders that help the police tackle alcohol related antisocial behaviour and, where appropriate, local byelaws.

Warning signs notifying dog owners of their responsibilities have also been put up across North Somerset.

* To find out more about PSPOs, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/pspo

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