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Should yobs be fined £80 for spitting on the streets?

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: July 26, 2013

Comments (15)

'ANIMALISTIC' people who spit on the streets might want to think twice about their unsavoury habit.

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has backed a London council's plans to introduce an £80 fine for anyone caught spitting on the street.

People on the streets of Cheltenham and Gloucester yesterday said they were in favour of a fine here in Gloucestershire.

A fine is due to be introduced by Enfield Council in September, where bosses have described spitting as "filthy, disgusting and abhorrent".

Council bosses will even resort to using CCTV to catch people out while police officers will be eagle-eyed on the ground.

The £80 fine is something of a throwback to the days before 1990, when hurling phlegm across the street would incur a £5 fine, but that was later scrapped.

Other local authorities are expected to follow suit with the idea of a new fine.

Joggers sometimes have to spit because of the amount of air they inhale – and it is not yet clear whether they would be exempt from the new rule.

Spitting into a tissue or handkerchief would not be considered an offence.

Anyone who refuses to pay the fixed penalty notice could face prosecution and up to a £5,000 fine.

Barbara Exley, head of public protection at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "We don't fine people for spitting in the street and, currently, there are no plans to introduce any legislation along those lines."

A Gloucester City Council spokesman said: "We have no plans to seek additional powers for the council to take action but the council would be fully supportive of enforcement action being taken against this form of anti-social behaviour."

But other councils will undoubtedly also by eyeing up how much money they could make from a spitting fine.

Councils across Britain already raise around £5.5million a year handing out more than 73,500 litter fines.

In the Middle Ages, spitting was much more socially acceptable.

At all levels of society it was thought ill-mannered to suck back saliva to avoid spitting.

In Greece it is still customary to 'spit' three times after making a compliment to someone – to protect from the 'evil eye'.

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15 comments

  • Vesuvio  |  July 28 2013, 12:07PM

    Ironically, I think that 'hocking a loogie' is less unacceptable, as a build up of sputum at the back of the throat is really unpleasant. One should use a hankerchief, though, and dispose of it properly. This business of spitting saliva onto the ground is just crass. What, are these yobs concerned that they're risking an ulcer by swallowing too much? Carry a spittoon, then.

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  • honslknjklyt  |  July 28 2013, 9:48AM

    Yes they should. Horrible thing but this should apply to anybody who spits, not just yobbos. Hardly a good example when people do it on the football pitch, I understand there is a reason but it is vile and kids look up to these "heroes".

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  • Ted_F  |  July 28 2013, 9:24AM

    Face reality. The kind of person caught spitting in the street would not say 'sorry' and cough up £80. You would have to be prepared to a) chase them b) rugby tackle them to the ground c) keep them incarcerated until they or their mates coughed up £80. I can see no problems here at all...

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  • MrGarnet  |  July 26 2013, 8:46PM

    The country has been going down the pan more so after Labours disastrous rule letting in all and sundry. And making layabouts a lifestyle due to no jobs available. 15 years ago a police officer would make a litter dropper pick it up. Now yoberts can do what they like. It will get worse with liblabcon.

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  • Studley1975  |  July 26 2013, 5:58PM

    YES Agreed!!!! This Is Long Overdue & A Revolting, Filthy Dirty, Unpleasant Habit.

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  • Wassisname  |  July 26 2013, 12:16PM

    Just another mindless, pointless sound bite from the Tories thrown out to the Proletariat to take their focus away from what is really going wrong in the Country. I can't remember the last time I saw someone spit on the pavement but I'm sure it occasionally happens. Hardly Radioactive, is it?

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  • TIMONLINE2010  |  July 26 2013, 11:19AM

    It's just a joke - the authorities are by and large unable to enforce illegal parking, littering or any other 'minor' offence so why bother trying to enforce this?!

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  • whiteheat  |  July 26 2013, 10:58AM

    Another tax from the Tories

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  • whatagreatday  |  July 26 2013, 10:41AM

    TIMONLINE2010 is dead right. For example, littering in this country has been illegal for decades but it's rife. Just compare littering in the town and city streets in the UK against most other developed countries and then it rings home how seriously the law views this offence.

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  • Localgirl75  |  July 26 2013, 9:53AM

    I saw a child of about 7 who was with his parents actually spit on the carpet in Waterstones the other day. Completely gobsmacked!

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