New byelaw to punish people who urinate in public

COURT'Lancaster Magistrates Court. 23080411
COURT'Lancaster Magistrates Court. 23080411

People who urinate in public face being fined in court after a new byelaw was agreed by councillors.

It will make it easier for the police to tackle the issue, particularly in built-up areas at night, South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) said.

Members backed the new law after a survey of residents showed strong support for the idea.

The byelaw covers 14 towns and villages, including Kirkby Lonsdale, Milnthorpe and Arnside.

Giles Archibald, SLDC portfolio holder for town centres and small business, said: “This is a problem caused by a small minority of people which damages the environment and image of our town centres. It upsets those who live in central areas and harms our local businesses.

“The new byelaw will help the police target this sort of anti-social behaviour in a more effective way.”

Inspector Paul Latham, of Cumbria Police, said: “I am pleased to support this new byelaw from South Lakeland District Council.

“Public urination is offensive and affects the overall appearance and reputation of our towns.

“Sadly, many people who are caught urinating in public have often just left a place with toilets, normally a pub.

“Once this new byelaw is in place anyone caught urinating in public is likely to be summoned to court, which can result in a fine.

“Also, as it is open court, the offender runs the risk of being named in the press. Hopefully this will make people think twice.”

Under the new law, which the Secretary of State must approve, police will be able to take immediate action against anyone urinating or defecating in a public urban area.

Previously they could only act if a member of the public had witnessed such an incident and been alarmed or distressed by what they had seen.