RULES meaning dog owners could face fines for not picking up their pooch's mess or keeping their dogs on a lead are set to be extended across Colchester.

Colchester Council's cabinet has backed plans to amend the borough's responsible dog owners policy after a series of recommendations from the policy and public initiatives panel.

The changes will mean strict rules covering the Mill Road playing fields, the home of Colchester Rugby Club, will be extended to all play areas and sports pitches in the area.

At the Mill Road grounds dogs are banned entirely from the pitches and must be kept on a lead if they are walked on the outskirts. Dog owners also face fines of £100 if they don’t pick up dog mess.

A total of 23 fines have been given out since the Public Spaces Protection Order was brought into force in 2016 and 14 were handed out last year.

The recommended rule changes will also see a publicity drive by the council to increase public awareness of enforcement action and responsible dog ownership.

Neighbourhood Teams could also increase their presence in areas where dog fouling is known to be a problem.

READ MORE: Dog public space protection order could be extended to all sports pitches and play areas

Martin Goss, councillor responsible for waste, transport and environment, said: "One of the big problems I get complaints about is dogs running around in playgrounds.

"If this is rolled out to all playgrounds it will be welcomed by parents because they do not want their children to be put in danger from dogs' mess.

He added: "I'm comfortable to take these forwards but if there are other points which need looking at they can come before the panel and we would look at those at a later date."

A new section of the council's website will be added on responsible dog ownership and compliance with the rules.