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Public Spaces Protection Orders

Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) deal with nuisances or problems caused by dogs, that are harmful to qualify of life. They ensure residents can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.

We receive many complaints from residents about dog fouling and the behaviour of some dogs, and have designed the prohibitions to be as simple as possible.

The prohibitions

The prohibitions include the following five key areas:

  • The requires the person in charge of a dog to clean up after it immediately, if their dog messes on any land where the order applies. Besides the unpleasant smell and the mess caused, there is a potential health risk associated with dog mess.

    Where the order applies
    This is borough wide in all public places. This means any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on pavement or otherwise, as of right or by express or implied permission. This includes areas of land in private ownership used by the public (or a section of the public) and public rights of way.

    If your dog messes on public land, you can place the bagged dog waste in any public litter, dog waste bin or household waste bin.

    Please note: A fixed penalty notice could be issued for a dog fouling on the route of a footpath.

  • This requires a person in charge of a dog on certain land to keep it on a lead.

    Where the order applies
    This is borough wide on public highways and housing land we maintain within town centres.

  • An authorised officer may only give a direction under this order if such restraint is necessary to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog that is likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other person, or to a bird or another animal.

    The direction can be given by 'an authorised officer of the Council'. This means any person we authorise in writing to give directions under the order. This can include a person who is not an employee of the Council, such as employees of a contractor or a partner agency.

    Where the order applies
    This is borough wide. We will ask a person in charge of a dog to put their lead on in areas that have risk to the wellbeing of the public and wildlife in the specific areas covered in the order.

  • This excludes dogs from all enclosed outdoor children's play areas within Royal Greenwich. We will enforce this where we have erected signage to say that dogs are not allowed.

    A children's play area is an area that is set aside for children to play in and contains children's play equipment such as slides, swings, climbing frames and other similar apparatus.

    Where the order applies
    This is for outdoor children's play areas enclosed on all sides by fences, gates, walls or other structures that mark the boundary of the play area. This makes it easy to identify the extent of the area where dogs are not allowed.

    If there is a children's play area within your local park that is fenced off from the rest of the park, you will not be allowed to take dogs in to the fenced off play area. This will not stop you from taking dogs in to the rest of the park.

    We believe children should be free to play on the equipment provided in these areas without the fear of treading in or coming into contact with dog mess. Dogs taken in to children's play areas can also become aggressive if startled.

  • This applies to a person in charge of more than four dogs.

    Where the order applies
    This is borough wide and includes covered land (but open to the air on at least one side) and to which the public are allowed access to, irrespective of ownership.

    This includes all:

    • parks and open spaces
    • children's play areas
    • open air communal spaces within housing estates
    • residential and commercial car parks, irrespective of ownership.

Why we introduced a Public Space Protection Order

Whilst the vast majority of the dog owners are responsible with their dogs, a small minority are not. Local residents raised the issue of dog fouling and nuisance behaviour from dogs that are not under proper control. This order makes it easier to deal with the minority who behave in an irresponsible manner, while at the same time encouraging responsible dog ownership.

The benefits, along with our ongoing cleaner green campaign, include the:

  • creation of a cleaner environment
  • reduction of health problems associated with dog mess
  • promotion of responsible dog ownership.

Person considered to be in charge of the dog

If your dog messes in a public place, or enters in to a children's play area, you will be responsible unless you can prove somebody else was in charge of the dog at that time. If you have allowed someone to take your dog out for a walk, they will be in charge of it for the duration of the walk.

Failure to follow the order

If the person in charge of the dog fails to follow the order, they are committing a criminal offence and we will issue a £100 fixed penalty notice. This is unless they:

  • have the consent from the owner, occupier or person in charge of the land, not to follow the order
  • have a reasonable excuse for failing to follow the order
  • fall within one of the other exemptions within the order, such as the exemptions for disabled people, guide dogs and working dogs.

We may decide to prosecute instead, if it more appropriate to do so. This could be if the person in charge of the dog behaves in an inappropriate way towards our enforcement officers, or if we had issued them a fixed penalty notice for similar behaviour before.

If prosecuted, it is likely the person in charge of the dog will attend Magistrates' Court. A person found guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the court's standard scale of fines (currently £1,000).

Report dog fouling and over-flowing bins

If you have a problem with dog fouling in your area or if a dog waste or litter bin is full or damaged, report it to us.

We no longer install new dog waste bins or replaces damaged ones, instead we recommend you dispose of dog waste in general non-recycling litter bins.

Report a problem with dog fouling or overflowing bins (Fix My Street)