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HomeCommunityAll the new laws to come into force across Harrow next month

All the new laws to come into force across Harrow next month

Harrow residents caught loitering, setting off fireworks in the street or walking more than four dogs at a time without a permit could face on-the-spot fines of £100 when new laws come into force next month.

From March 1, Harrow Council’s new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will be rolled out across the borough in an effort to crack down on antisocial behaviour and people making the borough dirty.

The PSPO gives the council the power to enforce the new laws in troublesome areas. New offences added to the borough-wide PSPO include setting off fireworks in the street, loitering and causing distress, and walking more than four dogs without a permit.

Existing laws such as spitting, littering, street drinking, smoking in play areas, failing to pick up dog poo and driving over footpaths will continue to be enforced. Until the laws come into force, the council says officers will make sure anyone found in breach of them is made aware of the changes coming next month.

An interactive map highlights what will not be allowed in the borough’s parks, town centres and housing estates. According to the council, the PSPO will allow it to act quickly on environmental crimes being committed by issuing fines as an alternative to taking offenders to court. However, depending on the severity of the crime, they can still be prosecuted and convicted by the courts.

Last month, the council rowed back on plans to ban all dogs being walked off their leads in Bentley Priory nature reserve following a backlash from owners and residents, who feel an outright ban would be an ‘overreaction’. It would have meant residents who let their dogs roam free could also face £100 fines but the council has now agreed to a further period of consultation on this aspect of the PSPO.

Therefore, Harrow announced that this particular rule will not be enforced whilst the review is carried out. The council had also proposed fining people who feed the birds in Pinner Memorial Park but opted to row back on this after some residents slammed the suggestion as ‘unfair and draconian’. The council has now chosen to allocate a designated place in the park for duck-feeding.

Instead, the park will introduce a ‘dedicated bird-feeding area’ near the pond later this year. Other parks in the borough will not have dedicated bird-feeding areas until they have all been individually assessed.

Cabinet member for Highways, Infrastructure and Community Safety, Cllr Anjana Patel, said: “Like our residents, we want a clean and safe borough. Sadly, there are some people who have no respect or pride for their neighbourhoods.”

She added: “Our protection order puts residents first by taking immediate enforcement action against those making areas unpleasant to live, work and visit. We hope this will make them think twice before acting antisocially. We want to ensure people are aware of the new orders before we begin enforcement in March. Our officers will be informing people in the meantime where a breach is seen.”