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Tougher penalties on dog fouling and defecating and urinating in public could come into force in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 18:00 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:40 01 February 2019

Dog fouling in Ipswich could feature more stringent punishment if extended under a public space protection order. Picture: ARCHANT

Dog fouling in Ipswich could feature more stringent punishment if extended under a public space protection order. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Tougher penalties on dog fouling and defecating and urinating in public could come into force in Ipswich if plans to extend a public protection order win support.

Alasdair Ross

 said the public consultation had featured a good response. Picture: LUCY TAYLORAlasdair Ross said the public consultation had featured a good response. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

A public consultation was launched last summer on whether to extend an existing public space protection order (PSPO) for street drinking – an order which cracks down on a specific issue in a community.

The consultation was seeking views on extending it to include dog fouling, defecating or urinating in public, gangs loitering, use of drugs and legal highs and anti-social vehicle use.

The results of the consultation on the dog fouling and street defecating have been published ahead of next week’s Ipswich Borough Council executive meeting, where the additional problems are set to be approved for inclusion.

Councillor Alasdair Ross, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “I am pleased with the large number of residents and organisations who have responded to the consultation, it shows there is a feeling from residents that we do need to do more to tackle anti-social behaviour and low level crime as the public understand that the police are stretched partly from dealing with various new aspects of crime, from ‘county lines’ to on-line fraud and partly from the cuts on the police force imposed by the government.

Oliver Holmes said the orders could criminalise behaviour that was not an offence. Picture: SIMON PARKEROliver Holmes said the orders could criminalise behaviour that was not an offence. Picture: SIMON PARKER

“The results of the consultation will now allow the council to decide on what further legal measures could be adopted in that fight against anti-social behaviour.”

Of the 502 people who responded to street defecating, 88.4% supported the proposals while three quarters of the 221 respondents on dog fouling felt there was a problem with it in the town.

The fine for dog fouling could be increased from £50 to £80, with a £60 level for early payment.

The responses on the other areas for potentially extending the order are still being compiled.

But Ipswich borough councillor for St Margaret’s ward Oliver Holmes had previously raised concerns it would criminalise behaviour that was not in itself an offence.

“I still have some concerns about this new order,” the Liberal Democrat councillor confirmed.

“The main one is that there are existing powers for dog fouling that are not used and I cannot see how the new order will address that problem unless they are going to have a huge number of officers chasing after dog owners.”

Failure to comply with a PSPO is a criminal offence, even though issues such as loitering are not necessarily a crime.

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