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Residents in Enfield back spitting ban but question how Enfield Borough Council will enforce it
Residents in Enfield say they support the borough’s upcoming ban on spitting - but have no idea how it will be enforced.
From December 8, spitting will become a criminal offence throughout the London borough in what is thought to be the first ban of its kind in the country.
Those caught Enfield Borough Council’s litter patrol staff could be fined up to £500.
Ceylan Hassan, 24, from Edmonton, told the Enfield Independent she thought the council’s plans were “brilliant”.
She said: “I find spitting very unhygienic, rude and just so disgusting. I’d give a round of applause to Enfield for doing this.”
Danny Wilkes, 33, who lives in Bush Hill Park, said he supported the ban too, but warned catching offenders might be difficult.
He said: “I do see a lot of spitting on the ground – but only after it’s been done. It’s not a bad thing to have the law, but enforcement is the key.
“I don’t know how they will catch people on the street as they spit. You can see the enforcement officers from a mile away.”
Pensioners David and Ella Walton suggested previous bans demonstrated that the spitting by-law might work.
Mr Walton, who walks his dogs in Enfield Town Park, said: “When they brought in the dog mess ban, we all had to start carrying little black plastic bags with us to clear up after them.
“Now you don’t see a lot of dog mess about at all. Maybe this will work in the same way.”
Mrs Walton added: “We used to visit our son who was working in Malaysia and they would spit quite publicly there – with a horrible noise. They don’t do that here as much, but you can still see where people have done it.”
More than 4,800 people signed a petition in support of stopping people who spit on the streets of Enfield since the campaign began in 2011.
After calling for more evidence last year, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles gave the go-ahead to criminalise the habit in July 2013.
Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment Councillor Chris Bond said: “Spitting is an utterly foul and disgusting habit and we’re delighted that the Government has given us the power to prosecute people for spitting in the street.
“It has been a long and tortuous route to this moment but we’re grateful the Government has given the go ahead for our by-law. We can now get on with dealing with those disgusting individuals who want to share their spit with the wider community and send out a strong message to show that sort of disgusting behaviour won’t be tolerated in a civilised society.”
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