Spitters warned of legal threats

Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

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Town hall chiefs across the Fylde coast have warned people who are caught spitting in public they could be dragged before the courts after a landmark legal ruling.

But councillors in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre say they would first try to educate anyone caught in the anti-social act.

It comes following a test case earlier this month when two men challenged a London council who imposed £80 on-the-spot fines on them.

Magistrates agreed spitting could be prosecuted under anti-litter legislation, setting a legal precedence for other councils.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for street scene, said: “Spitting is disgusting and could be classed as a littering offence in the same way as dropping a cigarette end on the floor or not putting rubbish in the bin. These are offences which our staff already can fine people for. However, an element of realism has to be applied.

“It would be impossible to pro-actively go out and find people spitting, however if any officers come across this happening then they do have the powers to act.”

Fylde Council chief executive Allan Oldfield said the issue of spitting had not been raised by the public.

He added: “In any case, we try to educate and support people before we fine them.”

Peter Murphy, Wyre Council cabinet member for street cleaning, said: “Spitting is very antisocial, but you need someone to witness it and challenge the person responsible.”

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