More than 3,000 people have backed a proposed ban on spitting on the streets of Harrow.

The plans were announced in January this year by Harrow Borough Council.

Since then the authority has been running a petition to collect public support for introducing a ban under the council’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.

Council leader Councillor Susan Hall said: “I’m thrilled that the response to the petition has been so positive.

“Spitting in public is a vile habit which can also pose a risk to health, and both it and littering can so easily make our pavements and streets look dirty and unpleasant.

“This isn’t just an issue the Conservatives are passionate about – all parties in Harrow are united on its importance.

“So by starting the process now, whoever forms the administration after the election will be in a much better position to start issuing notices in time for the summer.”

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 launched the petition at the start of the year to show that spitting was a significant problem in the borough and to show what counts as an offence and what cases may be exempt, such as sporting fixtures.

The plans have also been backed by Bob Neill MP, who was instrumental in authorising a similar ban in Enfield borough.

He said: “Spitting in public is an anti-social, unpleasant and unhealthy practice, and I’m very pleased to see that Harrow’s Conservative administration is committed to taking action against those who blight their communities with this behaviour.”