Alexandru Capra, 22, of Nottingham Road in Leyton, was fined after refusing to pay a fixed penalty notice for spitting

This Is Local London: Waltham Forest Town Hall. Waltham Forest Town Hall.

A third person has been prosecuted for public spitting on the first anniversary of a ban.

Alexandru Capra, 22, of Nottingham Road in Leyton, was caught spitting in Essex Road, Leyton, on May 7.

After opting not to pay the £80 fixed penalty notice issued to him by an enforcement officer, Capru was sent to Thames Magistrates’ Court.

The fine was increased to £150 and he was ordered to pay £100 in costs.

Waltham Forest was the first local authority in the country to use littering legislation to cover the act of spitting, prompting other councils to follow suit.

“This is the third time we have taken someone to Magistrates’ Court because they refused to pay the fixed penalty notice issued to them for spitting in the street,” deputy council leader and cabinet member for environment Clyde Loakes said.

“The message it sends out is clear – our enforcement officers are out there issuing fines to people who think it is OK to spit on our streets and if you don’t pay the fine the courts will back us up in enforcing justice.”

Two other men were fined in September for spitting in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton.

Waltham Forest Council announced last February that it would start issuing fixed penalty notices to spitting in town centres.

Comments (14)

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8:56am Wed 5 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

I am all for a crackdown on anti social behaviour but this is so difficult to enforce that it would be better educating people why they should not spit or to spit into a hanky.

How many of these people prosecuted have actually paid up I wonder? How much has it really cost to take these people to court or enforce against compared with the set up costs of Loakes Army? I bet the comparisons are frightening.

The trouble is that this kind of behaviour is quite normal in some cultures and this is what occurs when cultures mix, different behaviours merge and problems surface. I predict this silly exercise will soon discontinue as it is unworkable in reality.
I am all for a crackdown on anti social behaviour but this is so difficult to enforce that it would be better educating people why they should not spit or to spit into a hanky. How many of these people prosecuted have actually paid up I wonder? How much has it really cost to take these people to court or enforce against compared with the set up costs of Loakes Army? I bet the comparisons are frightening. The trouble is that this kind of behaviour is quite normal in some cultures and this is what occurs when cultures mix, different behaviours merge and problems surface. I predict this silly exercise will soon discontinue as it is unworkable in reality. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -8

12:07pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mdj says...

It's interesting to see that these cases are being remitted to Thames magistrates court, rather than handled locally, where there might be greater scrutiny.
The first two people penalised were non-English speakers who, as far as we know, were not represented, who spat - not something any of us would approve of - in a place where there were was nothing to indicate that to do so was illegal. They crossed an invisible line of whose existence they could not have been aware - it's certainly not signposted, unlike the no-alcohol zones.
Waltham Forest Council is not a law-making body, and changing the legal definition of ordinary English words is not within their powers.
This is a Rule of Law issue which may yet blow up in the Council's face.
Magistrates' Courts cannot create precedents, as Mr Loakes ought to know, and the issue of definition of litter may not even have been raised. A busy court clerk might not think to call it to the attention of the JPs if a confident prosecutor presents it as a fait accompli.

Perhaps Mr Loakes is 'leading beyond authority' again.
It's interesting to see that these cases are being remitted to Thames magistrates court, rather than handled locally, where there might be greater scrutiny. The first two people penalised were non-English speakers who, as far as we know, were not represented, who spat - not something any of us would approve of - in a place where there were was nothing to indicate that to do so was illegal. They crossed an invisible line of whose existence they could not have been aware - it's certainly not signposted, unlike the no-alcohol zones. Waltham Forest Council is not a law-making body, and changing the legal definition of ordinary English words is not within their powers. This is a Rule of Law issue which may yet blow up in the Council's face. Magistrates' Courts cannot create precedents, as Mr Loakes ought to know, and the issue of definition of litter may not even have been raised. A busy court clerk might not think to call it to the attention of the JPs if a confident prosecutor presents it as a fait accompli. Perhaps Mr Loakes is 'leading beyond authority' again. mdj
  • Score: 2

1:40pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

mdj wrote:
It's interesting to see that these cases are being remitted to Thames magistrates court, rather than handled locally, where there might be greater scrutiny.
The first two people penalised were non-English speakers who, as far as we know, were not represented, who spat - not something any of us would approve of - in a place where there were was nothing to indicate that to do so was illegal. They crossed an invisible line of whose existence they could not have been aware - it's certainly not signposted, unlike the no-alcohol zones.
Waltham Forest Council is not a law-making body, and changing the legal definition of ordinary English words is not within their powers.
This is a Rule of Law issue which may yet blow up in the Council's face.
Magistrates' Courts cannot create precedents, as Mr Loakes ought to know, and the issue of definition of litter may not even have been raised. A busy court clerk might not think to call it to the attention of the JPs if a confident prosecutor presents it as a fait accompli.

Perhaps Mr Loakes is 'leading beyond authority' again.
The council proved it was 'littering' in a previous ruling apparently.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: It's interesting to see that these cases are being remitted to Thames magistrates court, rather than handled locally, where there might be greater scrutiny. The first two people penalised were non-English speakers who, as far as we know, were not represented, who spat - not something any of us would approve of - in a place where there were was nothing to indicate that to do so was illegal. They crossed an invisible line of whose existence they could not have been aware - it's certainly not signposted, unlike the no-alcohol zones. Waltham Forest Council is not a law-making body, and changing the legal definition of ordinary English words is not within their powers. This is a Rule of Law issue which may yet blow up in the Council's face. Magistrates' Courts cannot create precedents, as Mr Loakes ought to know, and the issue of definition of litter may not even have been raised. A busy court clerk might not think to call it to the attention of the JPs if a confident prosecutor presents it as a fait accompli. Perhaps Mr Loakes is 'leading beyond authority' again.[/p][/quote]The council proved it was 'littering' in a previous ruling apparently. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -3

2:07pm Wed 5 Feb 14

driftingcowboy says...

Let's first of all congratulate the council for the initiative.
However, Cllr. Loakes's claim that enforcement officers are out there catching spitters and litter louts is nonesense. Most of us walk past several gobs of spittle every day as well as traipse through litter strewn streets. The enforcement team is under-resourced to tackle the problem in a meaningful way and Cllr. Loakes knows this. A handful of officers are spread across the borough as well as being spread across several duties and tasks. The headline in no way reflects the reality!
Let's first of all congratulate the council for the initiative. However, Cllr. Loakes's claim that enforcement officers are out there catching spitters and litter louts is nonesense. Most of us walk past several gobs of spittle every day as well as traipse through litter strewn streets. The enforcement team is under-resourced to tackle the problem in a meaningful way and Cllr. Loakes knows this. A handful of officers are spread across the borough as well as being spread across several duties and tasks. The headline in no way reflects the reality! driftingcowboy
  • Score: 7

2:22pm Wed 5 Feb 14

NDevoto says...

Disgusting yes but surely washes away in the rain, especially the downpours we have have had recently. One of the most expensive clean up costs is for chewing gum. Just start looking at the ground anywhere to see the pale flat circles pressed into the ground, and it is everywhere and very very difficult to remove.
Disgusting yes but surely washes away in the rain, especially the downpours we have have had recently. One of the most expensive clean up costs is for chewing gum. Just start looking at the ground anywhere to see the pale flat circles pressed into the ground, and it is everywhere and very very difficult to remove. NDevoto
  • Score: 5

2:42pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mdj says...

'The council proved it was 'littering' in a previous ruling apparently.'

This is being assumed without evidence.
It's noticeable that the defendants are consistently people with poor English skills who do not know their way around the courts system. Were they defended at all?
We don't have any evidence that the issue of a council unilaterally changing the law of the land has been tested at all.
Nothing that emanates from the legal officers of this Council can be relied upon as truthful or accurate, judging by what else they have been saying over the last few years.
'The council proved it was 'littering' in a previous ruling apparently.' This is being assumed without evidence. It's noticeable that the defendants are consistently people with poor English skills who do not know their way around the courts system. Were they defended at all? We don't have any evidence that the issue of a council unilaterally changing the law of the land has been tested at all. Nothing that emanates from the legal officers of this Council can be relied upon as truthful or accurate, judging by what else they have been saying over the last few years. mdj
  • Score: 5

4:47pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

NDevoto wrote:
Disgusting yes but surely washes away in the rain, especially the downpours we have have had recently. One of the most expensive clean up costs is for chewing gum. Just start looking at the ground anywhere to see the pale flat circles pressed into the ground, and it is everywhere and very very difficult to remove.
Landmark ruling;

http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/news/uknews/l
aw-and-order/1033249
0/People-who-spit-in
-public-face-prosecu
tion-after-landmark-
legal-ruling.html
[quote][p][bold]NDevoto[/bold] wrote: Disgusting yes but surely washes away in the rain, especially the downpours we have have had recently. One of the most expensive clean up costs is for chewing gum. Just start looking at the ground anywhere to see the pale flat circles pressed into the ground, and it is everywhere and very very difficult to remove.[/p][/quote]Landmark ruling; http://www.telegraph .co.uk/news/uknews/l aw-and-order/1033249 0/People-who-spit-in -public-face-prosecu tion-after-landmark- legal-ruling.html Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Thunderbird4 says...

I saw a man spit into a litter bin. Would that still count for a fine or does the spittle have to land on the ground?
I saw a man spit into a litter bin. Would that still count for a fine or does the spittle have to land on the ground? Thunderbird4
  • Score: 2

6:13pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Don't Give Up says...

How about teams of footballers in the various parks, playgrounds and the like? Don't forget Leyton Orient are playing at home this weekend and maybe the crowd will be increased by the number of Enforcement Officers employed by the council.
How about teams of footballers in the various parks, playgrounds and the like? Don't forget Leyton Orient are playing at home this weekend and maybe the crowd will be increased by the number of Enforcement Officers employed by the council. Don't Give Up
  • Score: 3

6:40pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

Don't Give Up wrote:
How about teams of footballers in the various parks, playgrounds and the like? Don't forget Leyton Orient are playing at home this weekend and maybe the crowd will be increased by the number of Enforcement Officers employed by the council.
Apparently the council even says that spitting at a match not allowed, shows you how much they have played football.
[quote][p][bold]Don't Give Up[/bold] wrote: How about teams of footballers in the various parks, playgrounds and the like? Don't forget Leyton Orient are playing at home this weekend and maybe the crowd will be increased by the number of Enforcement Officers employed by the council.[/p][/quote]Apparently the council even says that spitting at a match not allowed, shows you how much they have played football. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mdj says...

'In a test case, Khasheem Kiah Thomas and Zilvinus Vitkas failed to overturn the council's policy to impose an £80 on-the-spot fine under anti-litter legislation.

They were found guilty in their absence and fined £300 each on Friday.'

So they probably weren't even represented. Some landmark ruling. Was the definition of litter even raised? Nowhere is this indicated.
Enfield has gone down the correct route, and sought the power to make a bylaw.
Doing this would have denied Mr Loakes the publicity he craved for being first (though he's gone strangely quiet over his role at E11BID), so he rushed in by stretching the law.
'In a test case, Khasheem Kiah Thomas and Zilvinus Vitkas failed to overturn the council's policy to impose an £80 on-the-spot fine under anti-litter legislation. They were found guilty in their absence and fined £300 each on Friday.' So they probably weren't even represented. Some landmark ruling. Was the definition of litter even raised? Nowhere is this indicated. Enfield has gone down the correct route, and sought the power to make a bylaw. Doing this would have denied Mr Loakes the publicity he craved for being first (though he's gone strangely quiet over his role at E11BID), so he rushed in by stretching the law. mdj
  • Score: 5

8:31pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Techno3 says...

mdj wrote:
It's interesting to see that these cases are being remitted to Thames magistrates court, rather than handled locally, where there might be greater scrutiny.
The first two people penalised were non-English speakers who, as far as we know, were not represented, who spat - not something any of us would approve of - in a place where there were was nothing to indicate that to do so was illegal. They crossed an invisible line of whose existence they could not have been aware - it's certainly not signposted, unlike the no-alcohol zones.
Waltham Forest Council is not a law-making body, and changing the legal definition of ordinary English words is not within their powers.
This is a Rule of Law issue which may yet blow up in the Council's face.
Magistrates' Courts cannot create precedents, as Mr Loakes ought to know, and the issue of definition of litter may not even have been raised. A busy court clerk might not think to call it to the attention of the JPs if a confident prosecutor presents it as a fait accompli.

Perhaps Mr Loakes is 'leading beyond authority' again.
The magistrates who previously sat exclusively at Thames, Stratford or Waltham Forest Magistrates' courts were amalgamated into one large bench a year or two back, so magistrates previously sitting in only one of the courts now sit in the other courts as well.

The court at Walthamstow is being slowly run down (despite local politciins' claims to the contrary that the court was 'saved') and now the court only really hears traffic cases.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: It's interesting to see that these cases are being remitted to Thames magistrates court, rather than handled locally, where there might be greater scrutiny. The first two people penalised were non-English speakers who, as far as we know, were not represented, who spat - not something any of us would approve of - in a place where there were was nothing to indicate that to do so was illegal. They crossed an invisible line of whose existence they could not have been aware - it's certainly not signposted, unlike the no-alcohol zones. Waltham Forest Council is not a law-making body, and changing the legal definition of ordinary English words is not within their powers. This is a Rule of Law issue which may yet blow up in the Council's face. Magistrates' Courts cannot create precedents, as Mr Loakes ought to know, and the issue of definition of litter may not even have been raised. A busy court clerk might not think to call it to the attention of the JPs if a confident prosecutor presents it as a fait accompli. Perhaps Mr Loakes is 'leading beyond authority' again.[/p][/quote]The magistrates who previously sat exclusively at Thames, Stratford or Waltham Forest Magistrates' courts were amalgamated into one large bench a year or two back, so magistrates previously sitting in only one of the courts now sit in the other courts as well. The court at Walthamstow is being slowly run down (despite local politciins' claims to the contrary that the court was 'saved') and now the court only really hears traffic cases. Techno3
  • Score: 3

11:38pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Don't Give Up says...

Could someone please explain the method of how the Enforcement Officers prove a person is guilty of spitting in the street other than by obtaining DNA and what is the cost involved? If 3 people have been taken to court to collect their fines, what was the cost involved in doing so? Also, how many people have paid their fines without going to court and what is the total amount of the fines collected?
As far as the Orient game this weekend, all the council has to do is obtain clear cut evidence by getting a DVD of the game from the BBC.
Could someone please explain the method of how the Enforcement Officers prove a person is guilty of spitting in the street other than by obtaining DNA and what is the cost involved? If 3 people have been taken to court to collect their fines, what was the cost involved in doing so? Also, how many people have paid their fines without going to court and what is the total amount of the fines collected? As far as the Orient game this weekend, all the council has to do is obtain clear cut evidence by getting a DVD of the game from the BBC. Don't Give Up
  • Score: 3

11:23am Thu 6 Feb 14

mdj says...

The Orient pitch is not a public place, and the Council's writ does not run there.
This rule will only be used to harass the 'little people' who play in parks.

Also, Mr Hearn is an influential figure in the eyes of our Council, judging by the sweetheart deals the club has benefited from at our expense in recent years.
The Orient pitch is not a public place, and the Council's writ does not run there. This rule will only be used to harass the 'little people' who play in parks. Also, Mr Hearn is an influential figure in the eyes of our Council, judging by the sweetheart deals the club has benefited from at our expense in recent years. mdj
  • Score: 0

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