Waltham Forest to issue £80 on-the-spot spitting penalty notices

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A London council has introduced on-the-spot justice for those caught spitting or urinating in the street.

Waltham Forest said its enforcement officers were to start issuing fixed penalty notices in the same way they sometimes do for littering offences.

The north-east London council believes it is the first council in the UK to use such tactics to tackle spitting.

Councillor Clyde Loakes said it brought in the policy after residents complained about the problem.

Last year, Enfield Council announced plans to introduce a by-law to ban spitting but is still waiting for the government to approve it.

'Enviro-crime'

Waltham Forest claims it has been able to get around the bureaucracy of introducing a by-law by deciding to class spit and urine as "waste".

The measure is part of their Wipe It Out campaign against environmental crime.

Mr Loakes, who is deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for environment, said: "Residents have told us that they are concerned about this and want the council to do something.

"It's not just spitting, it's urinating in public as well.

"These two kinds of anti-social, enviro-crime issues need to be tackled, so we have come forward with the proposition that we will treat urinating in public and spitting as waste and will push hard to enforce fixed penalty notices on those we manage to catch."

The Department for Communities and Local Government said it could not confirm if Waltham Forest was the first to introduce on-the-spot penalty notices for spitting but said the government was "working with a number of councils on their proposed by-laws against spitting".

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