Spitting and Urinating
From September 2015 Bedford Borough Council will be enforcing
against spitting or urinating on public surfaces, roads, pavements
Consultation carried out with the public by
the borough council has found overwhelming support for spitting and
urinating in the street to be outlawed. People still see
spitting as a potential health hazard and are concerned about the
anti-social aspects of spitting and, by and large, spitting is no
longer socially acceptable
The council has now made it an offence to spit
or urinate in public under the same legislation which makes it
unlawful to throw litter down in the street. Anything thrown down
in the street which is not picked up can be classed as litter –
from a fish and chip wrapper, to a cigarette, to spit!
Anyone caught spitting or urinating in public
by authorised council officers will be issued with a £75 on the
spot Fixed Penalty
Notice (FPN), in line with the penalty to those caught
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Spitting and
urinating on public surfaces, roads, pavements and streets is a
filthy habit and an issue that people regularly raise with me and
the council. Spitting and urinating in the borough streets is
not socially acceptable.”
A legal precedent has been set in other parts
of the country, backed by local government and at the time
Communities Minister Eric Pickles, making spitting illegal.
Facts and Information
Two men who refused to pay a fixed penalty
fine issued by Waltham Forest Council in north-east London for
spitting in the street have been fined £160 each after the case was
dealt with in court. It was the first to prosecute
successfully for spitting.
There have been some suggestions that spitting
can spread diseases and illnesses such as tuberculosis, but this is
arguable. Notices prohibiting spitting were common in the 1940s
when connections were made with increased numbers of cases of
tuberculosis, leading to death. The World Health Organisation
reported in March 2014: “Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria
(Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the
lungs. TB is spread from person to person through the air.
When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB
germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these
germs to become infected.”
Spitting is still viewed as a potential
health hazard and people are concerned about the anti-social
aspects of spitting.
Spitting into a handkerchief or tissue would
not be considered an offence.