July 26 2014 Latest news:
Daniel Evans, Reporter
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Spitting in the street could become a criminal offence carrying a huge £500 fine if councillors get their way.
The proposed byelaw will mean that anyone caught spitting on the street or in any public place in Redbridge will receive a penalty.
Other London boroughs have implemented similar rules, with Waltham Forest Council classing spitting as litter and issuing fixed penalty notices for the offence.
But Redbridge aim to emulate Enfield Council, who have criminalised spitting and issue a £500 fine for anyone breaching the new law.
Cllr Ashok Kumar has been campaigning for more than two years for a provision against spitting.
He said: “I’ve been raising it at every chance I get.
“It’s a disgusting habit and can lead to other antisocial behaviour.
“At the corner of every building I see marks of spitting, I don’t want to see the area deteriorate any further.”
The plans have not yet been finalised and offenders could be let off the first time with a warning.
Cllr Kumar said: “For first-time offenders we could make a provision and maybe let them off with a warning, you don’t always have to have extreme punishments.”
The council’s environment service committee voted on Wednesday for the byelaw proposals to go to the cabinet for consultation.
Cllr Paul Canal, who was at the meeting, said: “This byelaw is about education so that people do know that it is not acceptable.
“Unfortunately spitting is regarded as usual in different cultures and we want people to know that it’s not on.”
He added: “I’d ban chewing gum as well because it’s disgusting to see it on the street but unfortunately it’s part of our culture.”
Before it can be adopted by the council, the byelaw must be approved by the government.
The application is expected to be sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government in the summer.