A COUNCIL chief has called for a ban on spitting in public, with
offenders being hit by fines if they disobey.
The move to ban the anti social habit has sparked controversy among
councilors in Edinburgh.
The leader of the council’s SNP group branded spitting “disgusting”
likening it to “dog excrement”, but one member says the move is “a
step too far.”
The debate comes after the London borough of Enfield created a bylaw
which would make spitting in the street without a good reason an
offence,and fines of up to £5,000.
SNP group leader Councillor Steve Cardownie is calling for a debate
over whether similar measures should be considered in Scotland.
He said: “To me, it’s on par with dog excrement, it’s just disgusting.
“I can understand if someone was ill, but you would hope they spit
into a hanky. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone just spitting
in the street.
“There are clearly people who’re not dissuaded by how antisocial it
is. Perhaps a fine would convince them to refrain.
“I will raise the issue at the next SNP group meeting with a view to
asking officials if such a move is necessary or appropriate here.”
Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Aldridge, spearheaded a campaign
against spitting in public two decades ago.
He added: “In some circumstances I think it’s preferable to encourage
good behaviour than penalise bad, but perhaps a fine would discourage
people. It is disgusting.”
But other councilors have questioned the need for such a move, deeming
it a “step too far.”
Tory group leader Councillor Jeremy Balfour said: “Clearly spitting is
not very pleasant or nice, but the trouble with a law like this, how
do you enforce it?”
Police Scotland confirmed that spitting in the street could already be
deemed an offence.
A spokeswoman said: “officers work under current legislation and
spitting could result in a fixed penalty notice and even a report to
the procurator fiscal.”
Golfing superstar Tiger Woods faced a barrage of criticism for
“spitting round Muirfeild” during the recent Open tournament.
Many took to social media to complain about his lack of respect for
the renowned course.
Spitting on the Royal Mile’s Heart of Midlothian mosaic is still
regarded as a time honoured tradition.