Thursday, 13 August 2015

£100 Fine for Peeing in The Bush

No longer legal in The Bush.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Public urination in Shepherd's Bush is now officially a criminal offence.  From now on, people caught publicly urinating and defecating in Shepherd’s Bush can be fined up to £100.

Shepherd's Bush Green has traditionally been a bit of a public loo. Chris Underwood put out a call on his blog to nail the "Poo Man of The Bush" back in 2013, for a charming individual (see photo below) who took a dump on the brand new children's playground on Shepherd's Bush Green.  He was caught in the act on CCTV.

This post followed Chris's successful public outing of the "Wee Man of the Bush" who urinated in the lift in one of the public housing blocks on the South side of the Green.  Little did he know he also was captured on CCTV.
"Poo man" of The Bush

For him, the Council's sanction was to serve notice on his family's council flat. Which was a bit hard on his family, you might think, but the neighbours were probably relieved.

Now, under a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), police and council officers will be able to issue fines of up to £100, or bring a prosecution against those caught urinating or defecating in public.

But the trouble with all new laws is that they are worth nothing without proper enforcement.  Does our Council really intend to put resources into policing this new law?

Zero tolerance. In theory.
By comparison, in our corner of the Bush, there are streets signs proclaiming "zero tolerance" for people dropping litter, and an £80 fine for transgressors.

But few people seem to be deterred by this, and certainly our streets are very far from being litter-free. I see people drop litter all the time but I have ever seen a policeman hand out a ticket to anyone, or make an arrest. And what are the rest of us supposed to do if we see someone peeing in the Bush? Make a citizen's arrest? Dial 999?

So, here at The Bush Telegraph we offer a cautious welcome to the new law - but we hope that it comes with a lot more enforcement to back it up than we have with regard to other public nuisances like littering.


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