Jan 16 2014

Spitting in the Streets – Part II

harrow_council_logo2Harrow Council is considering a byelaw to make spitting an offence in public places. This has to be approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), and to obtain a byelaw, the council would have to:

  • Identify that spitting is a significant problem in a local area or areas
  • Establish that there is widespread support to make spitting illegal
  • Draft a suggested byelaw acceptable to the DCLG which makes clear what is a proposed offence and those categories of activity that could be exempt in public places, i.e. sports fixtures. The byelaw also needs to make clear how this will be enforced, i.e. by anti-social behaviour teams, police etc.

Next steps: Harrow Council proposes to gauge public support through an online and paper petition which will ask:

“We the undersigned petition the Council to introduce a byelaw to ban spitting in public in Harrow. We also petition the Council to request that regulations are introduced to allow fixed penalty notices to be issues for breaches of the byelaw.”

This consultation would be live for three months and the results than assessed and submitted to the DCLG. If successful, Harrow Council would have the ability to set the level of spot fines for this offence. If successful, Harrow Council would be able to take legal action for breaches of the byelaw and if regulations are introduced, issue fixed penalty notices.

Cllr Susan Hall, leader of Harrow Council, said: “I am sure everyone finds spitting in the street a repulsive habit. Not only is it yobbish but it is also unhygienic and leads to staining of pavements which costs taxpayers in the long-run. It is time to render this practice unacceptable. But to do that we need to show that people in Harrow want firm but sensible powers to deal with it. I would urge everyone to sign our petition to create a new byelaw banning spitting in public, and send a strong signal to central Government that we need action now.”

The online petition will go live at www.harrow.gov.uk/spitting in the next few days. Paper copies will also be placed in the civic centre and in libraries.

90% of respondents on iharrow.com agree that spitting is “repulsive.”

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