Worried about weeing in Walthamstow? Lingering rage over Leytonstone’s litter problem? Seen one too many passerby hawk up a loogie in Highams Park? Worry no longer: Waltham Forest is here to save the day.
The borough is introducing an £80 on-the-spot fine for anyone that civil enforcement officers catch spitting, urinating or littering in the street. The intention of these fixed penalty notices, introduced as part of the borough's 'Wipe it out' campaign, is to communicate to residents that such behaviour is, well, a bit taboo.
This seems fair enough (in fact, we're a little alarmed to discover that the denizens of the north eastern suburbs thought otherwise). But why stop there? Surely there are myriad other disgusting anti-social behaviours that civil enforcement officers could and should be tackling, to make London a nicer place for all of us.
Here are our suggestions of some other things that right-thinking public authorities might consider slapping a fine upon. Do feel free to suggest your own.
- Not standing on the right.
- Not moving down the carriage, even though there's obviously room.
- Public displays of affection.
- Suddenly stopping in the middle of a street to read a text message that probably isn't anything interesting anyway.
- Walking too slowly.
- Public displays of prejudice.
- Listening to your headphones just loud enough for us to hear it in the next postcode over.
- Being in possession of annoying children.
- Being in possession of a yappy dog.
- Being in possession of a visible sense of irritation regarding other people's children or dogs.
- Parking your Boris bike in the last free docking station in the whole of the West End, in full view of another rider who's already quite late enough for work thank you very much.
- Public displays of wind.
- All forms of street harassment. (Actually, this one's entirely serious: let's fine those misogynist fuckers into oblivion.)
- Implementing faintly Orwellian anti-social behaviour policies without due care and attention.