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Spitting fines to come into force next month

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Street patrols to catch people spitting in the street will launch next week as part of a clampdown on the dirty habit across Cannock Chase.

On-the-spot £50 fines will be handed out by council environmental health officers to those caught in the act.

Three environment enforcement assistants are being briefed on how to dish out the fixed penalty notices before the new law comes into force from Monday, September 1.

Fines will be handed out to spitters in the same way they are for littering or dog fouling.

Cannock Chase Council's environment chief, Councillor Carl Bennett, said it was going to be a challenge but added the majority of the public are behind him.

"Spitting fines will be coming in on September 1," he said. "The existing environmental officers working for the council will dish out these on-the-spot fines.

"They are being briefed at the moment. It's a challenge but the majority of the public are in favour of this. They think spitting is disgusting. If we have problems we come back to the drawing board."

Councillor Bennett added: "If the officers see someone spitting in the street they will issue an on-the-spot fine then and there. It might be the case that they take a picture with a camera of the spit on the ground.

"We clean up dog mess, litter and graffiti but nothing seems to be done about spitting.

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"I want this to be a deterrent. I want Cannock to be a nice place for people to visit and a town that people respect.

"If people see Cannock as a nice, clean place to come and visit, it might even encourage more people to come here and do their shopping. I've got the public on my side."

Council leader George Adamson previously said there was 'massive support' for the move.

Only a handful of local authorities across the UK have brought in the legislation since an original nationwide ban which then carried a £5 fine was rescinded by the government in 1992.

Waltham Forest, in London, was the first local authority to bring a successful prosecution for spitting in a public place at the end of last year. Since then it has handed out dozens of penalty notices.

Spitting can aid the spread of infection diseases such as tuberculosis(TB), health experts claim.

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