Plans to ban spitting on the streets of Harrow and to fine those caught offending have been announced.

Harrow Borough Council has launched a petition to collect public support for introducing a ban under the authority's by-laws.

Other councils in London including Waltham Forest Council and Enfield Borough Council have already banned spitting and issued on-the-spot fines to those caught offending.

Leader of the council Susan Hall said: “I am sure everyone finds spitting in the street a repulsive habit. Not only is it yobbish but it is also unhygienic and leads to staining of pavements, which costs taxpayers in the long-run.

“It is time to render this practice unacceptable. But to do that we need to show that people in Harrow want firm but sensible powers to deal with it.

“I would urge everyone to sign our petition to create a new by-law banning spitting in public, and send a strong signal to central covernment that we need action now.”

Any new by-law must be approved Department for Communities and Local Government and the council must show there is support from the community for the ban.

The council must also show that spitting is a significant problem in the borough and also indicate what counts as an offence and what cases may be exempt, such as sporting fixtures.

The council has launched a three-month petition to gauge the level of public support for a ban.

Thos interest in signing the petition online can do so here or can sign a paper version at the Civic centre and the borough’s libraries.