LONDON — A town of Rochdale in England has proposed to ban swearing and other kinds of anti-social behavior in the city center.
Rochdale borough council plans to introduce a public spaces protection order that would subject anyone caught “using foul and abusive language” to a warning, fine or removal from the area, UPI reported.
People caught “using foul and abusive language,” begging, loitering and taking part in other similar behaviors could be warned, removed from the area or fined.
Council leader Richard Farnell said the ban was necessary to prevent a “small minority” — including people who are publicly drinking — from ruining the town center for other visitors.
The measure would also potentially ban begging, loitering, antisocial parking, playing loud music, loudly revving car engines, street drinking, unauthorized charity collections and skateboarding, in addition to barring people under the age of 18 from the town center between 11 pm and 6 am
Lauren Canten, a legal officer for human rights campaign group Liberty, however opposed the swearing ban and described it as a staggering misuse of power.
“These proposals would unjustifiably curb the rights and freedoms of Rochdale residents,” Canten said.
“The swearing ban is so vaguely defined, it would prove impossible for anyone to know whether they were breaking the law or not, while a blanket ban on begging will criminalize some of the most vulnerable people in the town.”