Councils can use a public spaces protection order PSPO to place restrictions on a public area, such as a park or a town centre. Restrictions can apply to either:
Councils can make a PSPO unless they’re:
PSPO restrictions include:
A PSPO lasts up to 3 years and can be renewed.
Because a PSPO is applied to a whole public area rather than to individuals, it should be used carefully. Consider whether there can be exceptions for working dogs, eg assistance dogs.
A PSPO can only be issued when a dog’s behaviour meets these conditions:
If a PSPO restricts local people’s space to walk dogs, you should provide other space to do this.
Some public areas in England and Wales are covered by Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) – previously called Dog Control Orders (DCOs).
PSPOs only apply to public land.
If you ignore a PSPO, you can be fined:
You can’t be fined if you’re a registered blind dog owner.
Local councils must let the public know where PSPOs are in place.
Example: If dogs aren’t allowed in a park, there must be signs saying so.
If the council plans to put a new PSPO in place, it must put up a notice and publish it in a local newspaper and on its website.
The notice must tell you: