NEW rules to crack down on illegal mooring and anti-social behaviour along Oxford's waterways could be brought into force.

Oxford City Council has proposed a new public spaces protection order (PSPO) covering the River Thames, the Cherwell and Oxford Canal.

The order – which enshrines the restrictions in law – would stop people mooring boats to riverbanks without permission from landowners, or from obstructing towpaths, drinking alcohol on them and from dog fouling.

According to the city council, there were 95 crimes reported to police along the waterways between April 1, 2014 and October 31, 2015.

The crimes included arson, criminal damage, assault, public order offences, burglary from boats and drug related offences.

The city council said it was also concerned about the control of dogs, alcohol, the destruction of habitats and property, mooring without consent, noise and smoke pollution, people jumping from bridges into the river and the blocking of the river and canal paths.

Both council officers and police officers would be able to enforce the proposed PSPO, with fines of up to £1,000 handed out for breaching it. 

It would also affect smaller waterways including Weirs Mill Stream, Bullstake Stream, Castle Mill Stream, Osney Stream, Fiddler’s Island Streams, Sheep Wash Channel and Wolvercote Mill Stream.

Council officers said in a report they considered passing byelaws to tackle the problems, as has been done in London, but "complex" land ownership had made the idea "unworkable". 

The plans will be considered next Monday by the scrutiny committee.