Zero tolerance to yobs fouling streets

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FOURTEEN towns in South Lakeland are set to take a zero tolerance to drunken yobs fouling streets and alleyways.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) is poised to bring in new by-laws to help police punish people quickly for the offence.

The law currently means officers first have to warn culprits about the practice and there needs to be people nearby, say official documents.

But the new by-law, requested by police, would means officers can immediately charge offenders leading to court appearances and fine up to £500.

The move comes despite an apparent decline in incidents of people urinating and defecating in the streets.

In 2008, there were 275 incidents reported to police in South Lakeland but that fell to 61 last year.

However, in meetings between council representatives and police it has been raised as a nuisance for the public.

The council says: “The police have advised that they are unable to respond to these complaints effectively under current legislation and asked SLDC to put the by-law in place.”

The council has already won support from the Government’s Communities and Local Government department. The authority and its 51 councillors meet tomorrow to discuss bringing in the by-law.

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If approved it would be applied to central streets in Kendal, Ulverston, Ambleside, Grange, Windermere, Bowness, Milnthorpe, Kirkby Lonsdale, Grasmere, Coniston, Hawkshead, Endmoor, Sedbergh, Flookburgh and Arnside.

It would take about a month to bring in, barring any objections, and make it an offence for people to urinate or defecate on roads, carriageways, footpaths, footways, alleyways, yards and verges which are open to the air and to which the public are entitled to go.

The action arises out of SLDC’s Clean Streets consultation and roadshow, a three-month survey of the public last year, which led to the controversial dog control orders being introduced. SLDC says 84 per cent of people surveyed backed a public fouling by-law.

The council has closed a number of public toilets across the district but also entered into partnership arrangements with town and parish councils and local businesses.

However, the council acknowledges that there could be limited availability of public loos during the early evenings and Sundays and suggests police adopt a ‘pragmatic’ approach to each incident.

Comments (6)

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12:53am Thu 26 Sep 13

hemyfan says...

The yobs are those who forced the council to close all our conveniences. The sort of politics that parcels public services into business units and misses the whole point of local community needs requiring an integrated approach.
Take your pick on who to blame, but it was inevitable that public health would be put at risk.
The yobs are those who forced the council to close all our conveniences. The sort of politics that parcels public services into business units and misses the whole point of local community needs requiring an integrated approach. Take your pick on who to blame, but it was inevitable that public health would be put at risk. hemyfan
  • Score: 5

11:39am Thu 26 Sep 13

SL&proud says...

What's with the emotive language? "Drunken yobs"... it shouldn't matter who it is, no one should be fouling in the streets, end of. This is journalism and isn't the Daily Mail. Let's not throw labels around, just report the news.
What's with the emotive language? "Drunken yobs"... it shouldn't matter who it is, no one should be fouling in the streets, end of. This is journalism and isn't the Daily Mail. Let's not throw labels around, just report the news. SL&proud
  • Score: 7

11:56am Thu 26 Sep 13

Adam_Kendal says...

SDLC should have thought about this before they closed the toilets. There's not much to be said about the "Partnership" with local businesses allowing the public to use their toilets - they all shut around 5pm and some aren’t even open over the weekends!

The majority of these problems occur at night - when there is nowhere else to go – especially on New Road while waiting for a taxi. Granted some "yobs" do take the **** (literally), but surely it would have made more sense to make the exiting toilets chargeable which would in turn pay for their upkeep, like Bowness, Windermere and Ambleside.

I have NEVER seen or been to any other town in the UK where there were no public toilets available.

I fail to see how any by-law would be enforceable if there is no other option for people who have the urge to go. The council has an obligation to make available, convenience for the general public. SLDC have failed to do so.
SDLC should have thought about this before they closed the toilets. There's not much to be said about the "Partnership" with local businesses allowing the public to use their toilets - they all shut around 5pm and some aren’t even open over the weekends! The majority of these problems occur at night - when there is nowhere else to go – especially on New Road while waiting for a taxi. Granted some "yobs" do take the **** (literally), but surely it would have made more sense to make the exiting toilets chargeable which would in turn pay for their upkeep, like Bowness, Windermere and Ambleside. I have NEVER seen or been to any other town in the UK where there were no public toilets available. I fail to see how any by-law would be enforceable if there is no other option for people who have the urge to go. The council has an obligation to make available, convenience for the general public. SLDC have failed to do so. Adam_Kendal
  • Score: 14

9:21pm Thu 26 Sep 13

Moonbase says...

The council have already won support from the 'Government’s Communities and Local Government department'. The authority and its 51 councillors meet tomorrow to discuss bringing in the by-law.!!!!
51 people to discuss this plus the crass above quango , beggars belief.
If somebody is having a sla*h (having been screwed on alcohol duty all night) surely there should be a police person there to witness and arrest them, but no chance, is this same moronic people who came up with the 'Dog S**t' law'....unworkable..
......yet laughable that this is the best these stupid and THICK people have to talk about.
Wow... what a way to make money and expenses!
When you have to go you have to go, just like my neighbours cat, that is classed as a 'Free Spirit' by law.
So I would suggest that would be fowlers change their name to 'Tiddles'.
The council have already won support from the 'Government’s Communities and Local Government department'. The authority and its 51 councillors meet tomorrow to discuss bringing in the by-law.!!!! 51 people to discuss this plus the crass above quango , beggars belief. If somebody is having a sla*h (having been screwed on alcohol duty all night) surely there should be a police person there to witness and arrest them, but no chance, is this same moronic people who came up with the 'Dog S**t' law'....unworkable.. ......yet laughable that this is the best these stupid and THICK people have to talk about. Wow... what a way to make money and expenses! When you have to go you have to go, just like my neighbours cat, that is classed as a 'Free Spirit' by law. So I would suggest that would be fowlers change their name to 'Tiddles'. Moonbase
  • Score: 3

10:21am Fri 27 Sep 13

doodleshire14 says...

I see that the by-law was requested by police, is this a ploy to get arrest numbers up?
I see that the by-law was requested by police, is this a ploy to get arrest numbers up? doodleshire14
  • Score: 3

6:19pm Sun 29 Sep 13

jazzactivist says...

This seems a ludicrous by-law given that SLDC has closed most of the public toilets! I haven't seen any 'drunken yobs', or even many young people at all, in Grange, let alone soiling the streets. But I HAVE seen desperate mums holding their children over the flower beds on the Prom or letting them sneak behind bushes and buildings because the toilets that do exist are too far away to get to in time. I also helped an elderly man who had come to Grange on a day trip and wet himself because he had become disorientated and couldn't find any of our three well-hidden public toilets. He was so embarrassed about it and I went into a shop on his behalf to buy him new pants and trousers. It would be better if the police helped to campaign to bring back the public toilets, instead of fining people who are caught short.
This seems a ludicrous by-law given that SLDC has closed most of the public toilets! I haven't seen any 'drunken yobs', or even many young people at all, in Grange, let alone soiling the streets. But I HAVE seen desperate mums holding their children over the flower beds on the Prom or letting them sneak behind bushes and buildings because the toilets that do exist are too far away to get to in time. I also helped an elderly man who had come to Grange on a day trip and wet himself because he had become disorientated and couldn't find any of our three well-hidden public toilets. He was so embarrassed about it and I went into a shop on his behalf to buy him new pants and trousers. It would be better if the police helped to campaign to bring back the public toilets, instead of fining people who are caught short. jazzactivist
  • Score: 10

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