Petition launched to outlaw spitting on Barking and Dagenham’s streets
PUBLISHED: 10:30 01 October 2014
Dropping a cigarette butt, urinating in public, not picking up dog mess and spitting in the street.
All disgusting habits, but only two will land you an on-the-spot fine in Barking and Dagenham.
Despite being the bugbear of many town centre users, spitting in public is not a punishable offence.
Not yet, anyway.
A petition with more 2,500 signatures was recently presented to the council, calling for a by-law to introduced, making spitting and weeing in public areas punishable by fixed-penalty notices.
Danny and Pamela Fletcher, 76 and 73 perspectively, of Salisbury Lane, Barking, were among those calling for the phlegm ban.
Danny said: “We consider it absolutely revolting and something has to be done – there’s just no need for it.
“It spreads germs and you see it all the time now – it never used to be as bad as this.”
Although measures could be difficult to enforce, council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell insists things needs to be done.
“I was shocked when I found out there were no rules about spitting in the street,” he said.
“Dropping litter and dog fouling are both hard to enforce but that doesn’t mean we just ignore it – we need to have something in place to say it’s wrong.”
Although guidelines from Public Health England suggest spitting is not as dangerous as coughing and sneezing in spreading diseases, it does state “spitting is not hygienic.”
Cllr Rocky Gill said: “It’s absolutely foul and on a par with dog fouling, but it’s not a problem unique to Barking and Dagenham, the same goes on in Redbridge and Newham.
“To some people it becomes acceptable when they see professional football players doing it on the tv, especially when the camera’s zooming in.”
Spitting in the street is often blamed on footballers, rightly or wrongly, who can be seen clearing their throats on the pitch.
But Dagenham and Redbridge defender Scott Doe, 25, insists it is a necessary evil in a tough physical conditions.
“It’s not something footballers want to do – it’s done because we have to,” he told the Post.
“It’s certainly not done to look cool and you’d never catch me doing it in the street.
“I can see why children might copy their heroes, but I don’t think it’s right to blame the problem on footballers.”
Footballers caught deliberately spitting at others could face a six-game ban in today’s game.
But Scott says there’s a world of difference between that and clearing your throat.
Scott added: “Deliberately spitting at someone else is one of the worst things you can ever do as a footballer.
“I’d certainly welcome a ban on spitting in the street – it’s horrible.”
Would you support a ban on spitting in the street? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8477 3824.
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