Tougher fines for nuisance behaviour and dog mess

NKDC offices, Sleaford.
NKDC offices, Sleaford.

New powers to help local authorities and police deal with anti-social behaviour in communities have been welcomed by district councillors in North Kesteven.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduces two new powers to deal with anti-social behaviour in public spaces.

The Community Protection Notice and the Public Spaces Protection Order carry on the spot fines and will be introduced in the district set at the permitted maximum of £100, with a discount to £60 if paid within 10 days. Fines for anti-social activity set by the council previously were mostly £75 with an early payment discount to £50. Dog fouling fines were £50.

NKDC deputy chief executive Karen Bradford explained to the executive board on June 4 that fixed penalty notices are a useful deterrent, enabling authorised officers to take clear action on activities such as dog fouling, litter and anti-social behaviour without needing full court action, but prosecution is still an option if the fine is not paid. Authorities can also issue the fines on the basis of information from PCSOs. Proceeds from these fines will go towards costs.

The new fines were welcomed as a greater deterrent by members and deputy leader Michael Gallagher said it gave them teeth towards eradicating such issues. However he also warned it was still difficult to gather sufficient evidence to prosecute someone for dog fouling.

An overview and scrutiny panel will work with parishes to look at the number of successful enforcements in the light of district council money invested in dog warden schemes.