Commercial dog walker banned from Three Rivers area
A commercial dog walker has been successfully banned from the parks and open spaces within the Three Rivers area by the council.
Paul Kingston – known locally as ‘Bob’ – from Hillview Road, Hatch End, Middlesex, has been prohibited from walking dogs in the Three Rivers area for 10 years and was ordered to pay £2,500 by St Albans Magistrates Court on 5 December 2023.
Complaints to the district council were received in July 2021 concerning Mr Kingston, a commercial dog walker, for walking more than four dogs, which were large breeds and consisted of German Shepherds and Labradors, at South Oxhey Playing Fields.
The large dogs were allowed off-lead together to run free but intimidated other people walking their dogs. Mr Kingston was reported as being aggressive, rude and intimidating when he was approached to put the dogs on the lead, forcing walkers to change their route to avoid him. Mr Kingston denied the allegations.
Mr Kingston ignored all correspondence from the council, resulting in a Community Protection Notice being issued under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This prohibited Mr Kingston from being in charge of any dog/dogs at any location within the Three Rivers area. He is also prohibited from accompanying any other person walking dogs that are associated with his dog walking business. Mr Kingston remains free to walk in the area so long as he is not accompanied by any dog(s).
Mr Kingston appealed against the notice but was unsuccessful with Deputy District Judge Booty sitting at the Magistrates Court in St Albans finding against him. On the evidence called by Three Rivers District Council, the Judge found that Mr Kingston’s behaviour was unreasonable following a large number of complaints. The Judge also found that Mr Kingston’s conduct was having a detrimental effect on other dog walkers and was persistent in nature.
Emma Sheridan, Associate Director for Customer and Community at Three Rivers District Council, said “This is an excellent result. We want all of our wonderful parks and open spaces to be enjoyed by everyone and the court’s decision sends a strong message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The council is committed to the promotion of responsible dog ownership and will take action against those who fail to keep dogs under their supervision under control. We are delighted the court agreed and dismissed this appeal.”