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Another spitter prosecuted a year on from ban introduction

The enforcement action Waltham Forest Council introduced against spitting in its town centres a year ago marked its first anniversary with the successful prosecution of yet another offender.

Alexandru Capra of Nottingham Road, Leyton, chose not to pay the £80 Fixed Penalty Notice issued to him by a Council Enforcement Officer for spitting in a public place. The matter was therefore progressed through to Thames Magistrates Court on 10 January.

The Magistrates agreed with the Council that spitting is a disgusting habit and can be dealt with by the local authority using the powers they have in relation to littering. They increased the fine accordingly to £150 and in addition the defendant was ordered to pay £100 costs.

“This is the third time we have taken someone to Magistrates Court because they refused to pay the Fixed Penalty Notice issued to them for spitting in the street,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“The message it sends out is clear – our Enforcement Officers are out there issuing fines to people who think it is OK to spit on our streets and if you don’t pay the fine, the courts will back us up in enforcing justice.”

The Council’s ‘Don’t mess with Waltham Forest’ campaign hit the news last year when it decided to include spitting as part of the range of offences deemed as littering.

The Council was the first in the country to use littering legislation to enforce against those people who spat in the street, but it wasn’t until September last year that the first cases reached Magistrates Court.

As in the most recent case, the offenders had refused to pay the Fixed Penalty Notices issued to them, leaving the Council no option but to prosecute. In a landmark ruling Magistrates agreed the Council was right to use their existing powers and since that time other Councils have expressed a desire to follow suit.

Last month Leicester City Council instructed their Enforcement Officers to issue fines for spitting in the same way as Waltham Forest. It allows Councils to issue Fixed Penalty Notices and to utilise existing resource in the shape of Enforcement Officers who are out and about carrying out other duties.

To find out more about the Council’s, ‘Don’t mess with Waltham Forest’ campaign visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/dontmess. Report an enviro-crime by visiting www.walthamforest.gov.uk/report-it or phone Waltham Forest Direct on 0208 8496 3000.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.