Dog owners fined after walkies on the beach.
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DOG owners who let their pooches loose on Teesside's most popular beaches over the summer were handed hefty on-the-spot fines for the first time.
A total of 13 fixed penalty notices were issued on Redcar and Cleveland beaches over the summer; 11 in Saltburn and two in Redcar - compared with none last year.
Signs telling visitors about the exclusion zones have been up for years, but this summer was the first Redcar and Cleveland Council was able to issue instant fines following a change in the law.
The authority says there was "clear support" from residents for the penalties, which are being enforced under the Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.
It had also planned to extend the zones to cover a larger area, but people weren't in favour of that.
The restriction has now been lifted and dogs can roam anywhere on Saltburn and Redcar beaches until May 1, 2019, when the exclusion zones will come into force again until September 30.
Gazette readers voiced their support for the punishments, with some even suggesting dogs on beaches should be banned altogether - and the PS100 fine should be doubled.
But one reader pointed out the warning signs, which are on the promenade at Saltburn, can easily be missed if dog owners approaching the exclusion zone are on the beach already.
They said: "The area is clearly marked with signs - yes, if you're walking along the promenade and can see through people.
"Where's the signs if you are walking along the beach?" Another posted: "Good, it's about time enforcement and not just words are used. Why not speed up the process and double the fine, that will send a message loud and clear."
Another added: "Great news, it is not pleasant to stand in dog muck when you are out enjoying yourself on the beach with your family.
Another disagreed with a blanket ban, adding: "I am a responsible dog owner who picks up my dog's mess every time, whether it be the beach, the woods or anywhere else.
"Why should I, my dog or other responsible owners be banned because of others' irresponsible behaviour?" Saltburn beach where there is a seasonal ban on dog walking