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Redbridge Council to make pigeon feeding in Ilford town centre illegal

PUBLISHED: 07:35 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:24 28 April 2017

From Monday it will be illegal to feed pigeons in Ilford town centre. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

From Monday it will be illegal to feed pigeons in Ilford town centre. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Ilford residents have one last weekend to enjoy feeding the town’s pigeons before the act becomes illegal on Monday under new legislation.

From Monday a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will come into effect in Ilford Town Centre, giving the authorities more powers to tackle low level anti-social behaviours such as spitting and public urination.

But another offence on the list might raise a few eyebrows – the feeding of pigeons.

So as of next week, if you are caught by police or Redbridge Council enforcement officers scattering breadcrumbs in the wind you can expect to face the full force of the law.

The council’s head of civic pride and enforcement, John Richards, revealed the ability to tackle anti-social bird feeders, and thus keep the high street tidier, would be one of the hidden benefits of the PSPO.

He said: “We have a certain type of people who are not doing it to cause a mess, they just love to feed the birds.

“These are middle-aged people who don’t see anything wrong with taking a loaf of bread and feeding the pigeons, but there are also some people who will be walking through the town centre eating their sandwiches and think ‘I’m done now’ and chuck it on the floor.”

Two problem areas on Ilford High Road have been identified, the small section of tram lines outside Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, and the area between phone boxes slightly further down towards the station.

The two phone boxes apparently create a CCTV blackspot for would be pigeon feeders, and so the council has begun negotiations with British Telecoms to have them removed.

Mr Richards told the meeting that, although he understood many people were trying to help local wildlife by throwing bread to Ilford’s pigeons, they were in fact doing the opposite.

He said: “It just doesn’t do the environment any favours, so let’s design it out and get rid of those areas where people think they can get away with it.”

Mr Richards also revealed the number of deep cleanings conducted along Ilford High Road was to be increased to further improve the town centre environment.

The PSPO will be clearly marked by 25 large signs that will be placed on lamp posts throughout the town centre and is designed to allow patrolling officers greater powers to crack down on loitering gangs and other nuisances.

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