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Penalty proposed to curb “filthy habits”

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Anyone caught spitting or urinating in public in Bedford Borough could soon face a £75 fine.

A public consultation is now underway to find out if people are concerned about spitting and urinating on public surfaces, roads, pavements and streets in Bedford Borough.

If approved, anyone caught doing so by authorised council officers would be issued with a £75 on the spot Fixed Penalty Notice, in line with the punishment to those caught littering.

Two recent test cases brought forward by a local authority show that this approach can be upheld by law.

Bedford Borough Mayor 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.

“I don’t think the problem in Bedford is worse than anywhere else. This is about making sure that we are tackling it as effectively as possible and using whatever powers are available if local residents wish us to.

“We think that an £75 fine is proportionate, and the recent cases in Waltham Forest show that this approach in enforceable. But it’s important that we understand what local residents think before making a decision.”

People can have their say and find out more information at www.bedford.gov.uk/whywouldyou

Hard copies will also be available at the borough council’s Borough Hall reception, libraries and the Customer Contact Centre.

The consultation closes Friday, May 2.

Bedford Borough Council is considering using powers under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act (amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods act 2005) to issue fines to anyone found spitting and urinating on public surfaces, roads, pavements and streets. This means that they would receive an £75 fixed penalty notice in the same way as if they had committed a littering offence.

Two recent cases prosecuted by Waltham Forest Council have shown that this approach can be upheld by law.

 

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