Greater Manchester council ridiculed for Salford Quays swearing ban

Anyone caught breaching the new rules would face a fixed penalty notice of £90

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The Independent Online

A Greater Manchester council has attracted ridicule after attempting to ban swearing in the streets at an upmarket docklands development. 

Salford City Council brought in a Public Space Protection Order to cover the Quays area in an apparent bid to curb anti-social behaviour. 

Part of the order said it would be deemed a criminal offence if anyone was caught using "foul or abusive language".

Other acts prohibited include the "throwing of any object at anyone without their consent", and "depositing or throwing into or onto the water any animal or any large object unrelated to water activities, including wheelie bins".

Anyone caught breaching the new rules would face a fixed penalty notice of £90 or a summons to caught with a maximum penalty of £1,000 if convicted.

Critics of the order have said it fails to give any guidance on specific words that would be deemed a criminal offence if used in public, suggesting it is far too vague in its current form. 

Comedian Mark Thomas, who is set to perform in Salford on 10 March, said he had prepared a list of words he intends to use, which he will send to the council to see if they breach the order, the Manchester Evening News reported.

A spokesman for Salford City Council told The Independent: "Salford City Council is not going to apologise for using national legislation to help Salford residents when their lives are being made a misery by anti-social behaviour.

"This order was introduced last summer after complaints from local residents about anti-social behaviour, including people throwing wheelie bins into the Quays and tampering with emergency life-saving equipment."

Councils have been using powers introduced by the Government in 2014 to ban and punish legal activities, such as rough sleeping, busking, and "loitering in groups".

More than 70 local authorities have used Public Space Protection Orders which ban activities thought to have a "detrimental effect on the quality of life" of residents.

Kettering Council imposed a curfew on under-18s which banned them from going out alone between 11pm and 6am, and joined eight other councils to ban swearing in public.