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First prosecution made in borough for breaching dog control orders

Bedford County Court.

Bedford County Court.

A Bedford man has been ordered to pay more than £300 after he was seen repeatedly breaching a Dog Control Order in Bedford town centre.

Peter Taylor, 55 of Albert Street, is the first man to be prosecuted at court for breaching a Dog Control Order in Bedford Borough since they were introduced in April this year.

Mr Taylor appeared at Bedford Magistrates Court on Wednesday, November 27 and pleaded guilty to six offences of failing to keep dogs on a lead while in an area covered by a Dog Control Order.

The court heard that Mr Taylor had been seen by Bedford Borough Council CCTV and authorised officers breaching the orders on six separate occasions between April and June.

Prior to the first offence Mr Taylor had been spoken to by officers and advised that if he failed to comply with the Dog Control Order relating to keeping dogs on leads in specific public areas he would be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

However, as Mr Taylor continued to contravene the Dog Control Order, a Fixed Penalty Notice was issued. However, the notice was not paid and as a result, the council took the case to court.

Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Charles Royden, said: “The decision taken by the court supports the actions taken by Bedford Borough Council.

“Dog Control Orders were introduced earlier this year, following a public consultation which received overwhelming public support. They help ensure the safety of residents, pedestrians and other animals by making owners aware of their responsibilities throughout the borough.

“The vast majority of dog owners are responsible and keep their animals under control. However, will continue to take a zero tolerance policy to anyone who thinks it is acceptable not to comply with these orders.”

Mr Taylor appeared in court on November 27 and pleaded guilty to all six offences. He was fined £35 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £20.

In February this year Bedford Borough Council adopted and implemented Dog Control Orders across the borough.

Following a period of education, in April 2013 Zero Tolerance was enforced.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 enables the Council to implement dog control orders for:

•Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded;

•Failing to remove dog faeces;

•Not keeping a dog on a lead;

•Not putting, and keeping a dog on a lead when directed to do so;

Those committing an offence can be fined up to £1,000. However, the council can offer a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75 for an offence as an alternative to prosecution, which would discharge liability for the offence.

 

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