People living in Redbridge have backed a proposed spitting ban

The byelaw would give Redbridge council the power to dish out fines of up to £500

The byelaw would give Redbridge council the power to dish out fines of up to £500

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

People who spoke to the Guardian have backed a plan to fine people for spitting in the street.

On Tuesday leading councillors in Redbridge will consider whether to press ahead with a plan to enforce an existing byelaw to issue fixed penalty notices.

Pat Burrow, 81, of Blake Hall Road in Wanstead, said: “I do not like spitting so the proposed law is a really positive thing for the area.

“It is nasty, unhealthy and not very nice for children or pets playing in public areas.
“Some people just do not care about the mess they are making, so they should be held accountable for that.”

Laura Jeffrey, 33, of St Margaret’s Road in Aldersbrook, hopes any revenue gained from fines will be spent wisely.

She said: “I agree with the proposed law. There is no need to spit in the streets, so it is important that people are made to pay for it. The council can spend the money on doing something positive.”

Michael Brown, 68, of Cambridge Road, Wanstead, also welcomed the move.

He said: "This is a great idea. It is a terrible habit and I support any action to stop it.

“£500 is a bit steep but repeat offenders should be properly punished."

Jean Hogkins, 55, Clavering Road, Wanstead, also supports the policy, but is cautious over how it will work in practice.

She said: "It is is a good idea, but there may be issues in enforcing the law.

“Unless they are standing next to the person how would they know who has done it?"

Waltham Forest council last year classified spitting as litter in order to issue fines of up to £80, but Redbridge council lawyers concluded this was not a legally sound approach and have chosen to use a byelaw instead.

Cllr Ian Bond, deputy leader of the council, said he was sure the cabinet would back the proposal.

He said: “It is an unpleasant habit and this new law will hopefully make people think before they do it again.

“I’m sure the cabinet will back it and I fully support it providing it is implemented in a sensible way, not following people around the park to catch them out.”

Redbridge council’s cabinet will make a decision on whether to conduct a public consultation on the issue and the byelaw could be enforced as early as summer this year.

Comments (2)

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11:43am Thu 3 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

No doubt the public support it, I support it, like I support action against fly tipping, general littering, anti-social behaviour and so on. What is the point of creating un enforceable legislation though? This is mere lip servicing. What do the public do if they see someone spitting? Call the police? I can just imagine their response even if one presented them with conclusive evidence.

For example one of the most common forms of littering I have seen is people discarding cigarette end, some still alight, in the street or launched from moving vehicles, which is a nuisance if you are right behind on a cycle as I have often been. The type of people who discard fag ends in this way, spit, fly tip and are anti-social will potentially become aggressive and argumentative and desperately try to wriggle out of any attempt to obtain their details for a fine to be enforced.

There still exists (although in my opinion fewer cases) of dog owners who flatly refuse to pick up their dogs mess in public areas, the councils despite years of talking about this and employing dog wardens, still fail to tackle the problem. It would be interesting to know under the Freedom of Information Act as to how many prosecutions over the past five years have there been for littering or dog fouling. I wager very few. If this is the case, what is the point of all this new spitting law?

The streets need to be patrolled by Police , proper officers with powers of arrest, who are a visible deterrent. However as seen on TV recently, many officers these days appear to be afraid of their own shadow and reluctant to enforce the laws, like as filmed at football matches where fans openly swear, chant racist and homophobic abuse and even swear at the police.

The police over the years have given up control of the streets to the yobs and hooligans and those out there who break the law without any fear of retribution or punishment and even when they do face a court, get a toothless caution or ridiculous fine which is no deterrent.
No doubt the public support it, I support it, like I support action against fly tipping, general littering, anti-social behaviour and so on. What is the point of creating un enforceable legislation though? This is mere lip servicing. What do the public do if they see someone spitting? Call the police? I can just imagine their response even if one presented them with conclusive evidence. For example one of the most common forms of littering I have seen is people discarding cigarette end, some still alight, in the street or launched from moving vehicles, which is a nuisance if you are right behind on a cycle as I have often been. The type of people who discard fag ends in this way, spit, fly tip and are anti-social will potentially become aggressive and argumentative and desperately try to wriggle out of any attempt to obtain their details for a fine to be enforced. There still exists (although in my opinion fewer cases) of dog owners who flatly refuse to pick up their dogs mess in public areas, the councils despite years of talking about this and employing dog wardens, still fail to tackle the problem. It would be interesting to know under the Freedom of Information Act as to how many prosecutions over the past five years have there been for littering or dog fouling. I wager very few. If this is the case, what is the point of all this new spitting law? The streets need to be patrolled by Police , proper officers with powers of arrest, who are a visible deterrent. However as seen on TV recently, many officers these days appear to be afraid of their own shadow and reluctant to enforce the laws, like as filmed at football matches where fans openly swear, chant racist and homophobic abuse and even swear at the police. The police over the years have given up control of the streets to the yobs and hooligans and those out there who break the law without any fear of retribution or punishment and even when they do face a court, get a toothless caution or ridiculous fine which is no deterrent. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -3

12:43pm Thu 3 Apr 14

MorrisHickey says...

An opportunity to make a small fortune in Ilford Town Centre. Could even stop persecuting motorists without losing any money.
An opportunity to make a small fortune in Ilford Town Centre. Could even stop persecuting motorists without losing any money. MorrisHickey
  • Score: 0

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