Dog owners in Camden to face fines for failing to clean up mess if council plans are waved through

Camden Town Hall

Dog owners who do not clear up after their pets in Camden could be hit hard in the pocket.

The council is planning to bring in a new order to deal with anti-social behaviour from “a minority of irresponsible dog owners”.

This is likely to mean the introduction of a three-year public space protection order (PSPO) after the previous one expired in  April 2020, just after lockdown.

It means dog owners could get fined if they do not clear up faeces, fail to use a lead if asked to by an enforcement officer, or take dogs into areas where they are banned.

People who flout the rules could get a £100 fixed penalty notice (FPN) or a fine of £1,000 if taken to court.

A Town Hall report said there were “regular complaints around dog fouling, through to fear and intimidation when dogs are not controlled or are misused by their owners. Such lack of control can result in attacks on other animals and, even though rare, attacks on humans can occur.”

The council does not expect to give out many fines but hopes it will be they will act as a deterrent.

The order will not include Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, which are cared for by The Royal Parks, or Hampstead Heath, which belongs to the City of London Corporation.

Dogs will not have to be on leads in the council’s 76 parks and many open spaces, apart from Hampstead cemetery.

There will be exemptions for visually impaired people and other dog owners with disabilities.

People might be asked to put their dogs on leads because of concerns about dog attacks.

“Although such serious attacks are rare, they can have an enormous impact and there remains a minority of irresponsible dog owners who do not adequately control their dogs and thus pose a risk to communities in Camden,” the council said.

It reported complaints “that some owners actively encourage their dogs to attack trees within our parks as part of their exercise, biting off bark and damaging trees.”

In a consultation, 98 per cent said they supported action against people who do not clear up dog mess.

The suggestion that enforcement officers could ask people to use leads was strongly supported by 95 per cent of respondents.

The move is likely to be passed by cabinet today.

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