London council introduces on-the-spot spitting fines

12:07 13 February 2013

Enforcement officers can issue on the spot fines. File picture: PA Archive

Enforcement officers can issue on the spot fines. File picture: PA Archive

PA Archive/Press Association Images

People caught spitting or urinating while out in Waltham Forest will be fined £80 if caught.

The council has classed them as offences in the same category as litter, on the grounds they are waste derived from eating or drinking. Enforcement officers will become the first in the country to be empowered to issue on-the-spot fines to anyone spotted committing the act.

One person has already been fined for urinating since it was introduced at the start of February, a spokesman said.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, Clyde Loakes said the council wanted to make it “completely taboo”.

He said: “It’s horrible to witness and leaves an unsanitary mess on our paths and pavements.

“Why people think it is acceptable to indulge in what must be the most anti-social of all behaviours is a mystery to all right-minded people, but the fact is they do.

“As I say, I don’t believe the vast majority of people need telling that it is wholly disgusting and entirely inappropriate in a public place.

“But patently there are some who require a form of sanction to bring them in line with the expected behaviour of everyone in our community.”

It comes a year after Enfield Council wrote to the government asking for permission to introduce a by-law to enable employee to hand out fixed penalty notices to anyone caught spitting.

A spokesman said its discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government “were ongoing”.

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