A series of dog control measures, including limiting the number of dogs a person can walk in the Epping Forest District, has come into force.

The Dog Control and Anti-Social Behaviour Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) will last for three years.

PSPOs, authorised under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, put a stop to specific actions within chosen spots in England and Wales.

Following a consultation from October to November 2023 with 126 responses, the Dog Control PSPO is now fully in force across the Epping Forest District.

Contravening these new rules could mean committing an offence.

What are the new dog restriction in Epping Forest?

The new regulations mean anyone in charge of a dog must remove its faeces from any publicly accessible land within the district.

Dogs must also be put on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer.

In addition, dog walkers are now restricted to only four dogs at a time on publicly accessible land.

The PSPO also mandates individuals to carry an appropriate receptacle for picking up dog faeces whilst strolling with their pooches.

Some specific fenced areas within the district are also off-limits to dogs.

Councillor Ken Williamson, portfolio holder for Regulatory Services said: "We all want to create a district free from anti-social behaviour where dogs and people happily co-exist.

"By tackling these issues we can ease the disruption and distress for our residents, and promote responsible dog ownership whilst maintain the cleanliness and safety of our public spaces."

An Anti-Social Behaviour PSPO came into action at the same time as the dog control measures , following a similarly conducted consultation period which yielded 112 responses.

This order is targeted at the Broadway, Debden and is concerned with drug dealing, public drinking, begging and causing unnecessary fear or distress to others.

It covers council housing blocks and estates.

The rules specifically deal with loitering that causes nuisance, alarm, intimidation or harassment.

Any form of flyposting is now an offence, along with the misuse of skateboards, bicycles, scooters, or skates that damages property or causes distress or annoyance to anyone.

Under the mandates, it's now an offence to be in possession of an open vessel of alcohol in a public place.

The rules also clearly state that anyone sitting or loitering on the highway or pedestrian area of the restricted district will commit an offence if they demand, beg, or are perceived to be begging for money or any other item.

With these new measures now in full action, Epping Forest District is taking a tough stance on dog control and anti-social behaviour.

The PSPOs will last for three years, in an attempt to enforce a more responsible and respectful use of public spaces.