Dogs have been banned from enclosed children’s playgrounds in Kettering under a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).
‘Anti-social’ activities such as street drinking and begging are already banned by the PSPO, which now covers three extra dog-related laws.
It is now an offence for a dog, unless it is a guide or assistance dog, to be in an enclosed children’s playground and dog walkers must not have more than six dogs on a lead at any one time.
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times in the Manor House Gardens, Municipal Gardens, Parish Churchyard (behind the Market Place), The Garden of Rest (behind Corn Market Hall) and Market Place.
A council spokesman said: “The council believes that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and law-abiding members of the community.
“However, each year we receive lots of complaints relating to dog fouling, threatening or out of control dogs and dog related horticultural damage.”
Breaching the PSPO results in a fine of £100, reduced if paid within 10 days.
Those fined will have a maximum of 14 days to pay the fine or they could face prosecution in the magistrates’ court and a fine of up to £1,000.
Head of public services at Kettering Council Shirley Plenderleith said: “Kettering Council has received more than 500 complaints regarding dog fouling in the last three years.
“It is a significant health issue and we’d like to see a reduction in dog fouling incidents.
“Requiring dogs to be kept on leads or restricting access to dogs in certain designated areas will ensure dogs are under proper control and reduce the risk of dog fouling, making these areas cleaner and safer.”
Dog owners should also be aware that if they are asked to put their dog on a lead by an authorised officer they should do so immediately, as failure to do so will breach the PSPO.
The council says this is to help deal with those dogs which are out of control or may be perceived as being aggressive to other dogs.
Failing to pick up after your dog remains an offence across the borough.
Cllr Ian Jelley, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “The dog control Public Spaces Protection Order acts upon resident feedback from our consultation earlier this year.
“It is about benefiting the community as a whole to help make it a cleaner, safer and a healthier place to live.”
New signage is now up and in place across the borough explaining the new restrictions.