Jail term for spitters 'excessive at this stage'
Klaudia Lee and Patsy Moy
Donald Tsang's Team Clean considered imposing jail terms on repeat spitters, people who let their dogs foul the streets and bill poster offenders but dropped the idea because it was too excessive 'at this stage'.
The report also says an initial idea was to 'name and shame' offenders. 'However, many people may have the same name and the routine publication of a long list of names may not bring about the desired effect,' it says.
At present, only littering is punishable by imprisonment, while three other common cleanliness offences including spitting, dog-fouling and unauthorised bill-posting are not.
'Although this would achieve a consistency in penalties and create a stronger deterrent effect, our preliminary assessment is that imprisonment for these offences would seem excessive,' it says.
But the team says it will amend the law to provide for the courts to order community service for the extra three cleanliness offences.
As for imposing criminal records, the team recognises it would enhance the deterrent effect. But it says: 'While we do not have a great deal of sympathy for those who choose to continuously ignore the law and pay scant regard to the health of fellow citizens ... imposing a criminal record on conviction seems excessive at this stage.'