Residents in North Devon are being reminded to treat their community and environment with respect - or expect to receive a fine.

Two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) have been introduced in North Devon with the aim of eliminating nuisance behaviours and improving standards in the district for the benefit of the community. A breach of the PSPOs could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or, if it goes unpaid, court proceedings.

The first of the PSPOs deals with antisocial behaviour in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe and targets nuisance behaviours such as street drinking, drug use, public urination and aggressive begging (using intimidating language or actions, or begging within five metres of a pay point or cash machine). The PSPO expands on restrictions already in place, which aim to prevent nuisance alcohol misuse, to include other conduct that has a detrimental effect on the local community.

A second PSPO targets the actions of a minority of dog owners who fail to pick up dog waste and allow their pets to run out of control, whilst still providing open spaces where owners can freely exercise their dogs. The measures include requirements for:

  • owners to pick up after their dog
  • owners to place any out of control dog on a lead if requested
  • dogs to be on a lead in a public cemetery
  • dogs not to be present on any formal sports pitch or enclosed children’s play area
  • between 1 October and 31 March, dogs not to be present on or near land used as a High Tide Roosting Site
  • between 1 May and 30 September, dogs not to be present on Croyde or Combe Martin beaches
  • dogs to be on a lead in certain locations in Braunton Burrows at certain times of year

The council is currently in touch with landowners in relation to Croyde Bay, Combe Martin Beach, Braunton Burrows and the High Tide Roosting Areas - to enable these controls to become enforceable - once site specific maps have been agreed and finalised. The more general provisions of the PSPO remain enforceable in these, as well as all other public spaces across the district.

Any private landowners that wish to introduce these enforceable dog controls on their land should contact the council on 01271 388870 or customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk for advice and to purchase appropriate signage.

Both PSPOs have been designed with the aim of enabling the council to manage antisocial behaviour more proactively. A breach of either PSPO could result in the issue of a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice and failure to pay the penalty could result in court proceedings and a fine of up to £1000. 

Lead Member for Environment, Councillor Netti Pearson says: "Antisocial behaviour of any kind is unacceptable and can have a really damaging impact on people's lives, so we welcome the ability to be able to deal with conduct of this kind in a more direct way. We hope that these two PSPOs will have a positive impact on the community in their enjoyment of our towns and beaches.

"The vast majority of us cherish our beautiful district and want to live in it peacefully, respecting our community and natural environment. For the minority who feel differently, we hope the introduction of these measures show that antisocial and irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated."

More information on the antisocial behaviour PSPO in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe can be found on the council's website at www.northdevon.gov.uk/community-safety-and-emergencies/anti-social-behaviour. Further information for dog owners living in or visiting North Devon can be found on the council's website at northdevon.gov.uk/environment/dogs-in-north-devon. Full details on all PSPOs in place across the district is available at www.northdevon.gov.uk/business/north-devon-legal-services/public-space-protection-orders-pspos.