Council looks to widen its use of anti-social fines

New fines for extreme anti-social behaviour could soon be brought in by the city council. 

If next week’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee (ETS) agrees, people caught spitting, urinating or defecating in public places will receive an on-the-spot fine of £75.

The move comes after a rise in complaints to the council around these types of activities.

'Bad behaviour will not be tolerated'

Cllr Anne Pissaridou, the new chair of the council’s ETS committee, said: “Spitting, urinating and defecating are regarded by a vast majority of people as anti-social habits and can have a number of dangerous health implications. 

“With a rise in these activities coupled with a surge in the number of complaints we receive, we want to make it clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated.” 

At present, the council’s environmental enforcement officers only issue Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fines to individuals for:

  • littering 
  • fly-tipping 
  • fly-posting 
  • graffiti 
  • dog poo  
  • the uncontrolled distribution of leaflets.

Keeping the city clean and tidy

These are given out, by law, in a bid to keep the city’s streets, parks and open spaces clean and tidy.

But spitting, urinating and defecating will now be included in the list, with fines being issued under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

On 1 March this year, the council brought the environmental enforcement team in-house after it ended its contract with controversial contractor 3GS.

Since then the team has issued just over 240 fines, mainly to individuals for littering and businesses for illegally dumping waste.

Cllr Pissaridou added: “It’s necessary to take this enforcement action as these types of anti-social behaviour affect us all.

“They have a harmful effect on the city and add to the already huge amount of cleaning, collection and disposal of rubbish and waste.

“With almost 300,000 residents and more than 11 million visitors a year, keeping the city clean will never be an easy task. 

“But I promise that in my new role I will do everything I can to make it happen.”

Fines money reinvested to improve our rubbish and recycling services

The environmental enforcement service is funded by income raised from the FPNs. Any extra money from collecting fines is reinvested into improving rubbish and recycling services.

Under government guidelines, the council isn’t allowed to use enforcement as a way of making money.