Urinating, defecating and dog fouling in Northampton could all land culprits with a £1,000 fine under new order

Northampton's Market Square could be subject to a Public Space Protection Order prohibiting street drinking.
Northampton's Market Square could be subject to a Public Space Protection Order prohibiting street drinking.

Urinating and “defecating” in public places, dog fouling and street drinking could all cost people £1,000 fine under new powers set to be put in place by Northampton Borough Council.

The authority is poised to approve plans for a new Public Spaces Protection Orders to prohibit anti-social activities at key points in the borough.

If the measures are agreed next Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, council rangers and police will have the powers to hand out £1,000 fines in designated zones to those caught drinking, urinating, letting their dogs foul and not keeping their pets on a lead, depending on the zone.

The biggest zone will cover the town centre and Wellingborough Road, but part of Kettering Road, Kingsley shopping area, parks and cemeteries will all be covered by the order.

Councillor Mike Hallam, Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for community safety, said: “We have been working with Northampton residents since the end of 2015 to draft our first Public Spaces Protection Order, which covers the top issues highlighted during this consultation.

“Pending discussions at cabinet, we hope to implement this order in early 2017 to help tackle anti-social behaviour and improve the quality of life for a large number people and businesses within the borough.”

If the order is approved, the council will put signs around the town to tell people of the penalties for breaching the rules.

The order has been formed after a 12-week online consultation with Northampton residents earlier this year.

Nearly all of the respondents wanted urination and defecation to be punishable offences.

Busking, on the other hand, was seen as less of a public nuisance.

The cabinet report states: “The majority of comments received on busking stated that it added positively to the town centre ambience, but there were negative comments about the quality of some buskers, and also the use of amplifying equipment.”

Restrictions can be placed on an area where anti-social activities have, or are likely to have, “a detrimental effect” on the quality of life of local people.

“These can be blanket restrictions or requirements, or can be targeted against certain behaviours by certain groups at certain times,” the report adds.

The proposed order will be implemented from February 2017, taking over from the Dog Control Order and Designated Public Places Order, which expires next year.

Breaching the order would be a criminal offence with a possible fine of up to £1,000.

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