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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Nine Men Fined for Spending a Penny in York Streets

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12:28pm 15th January 2013

City of York Council has conducted its first successful prosecutions of individuals caught urinating in public by the police, with a total of £600 in fines being issued.

Working in partnership with North Yorkshire Police, the council used a local by-law to take legal action against members of the public found relieving themselves in public.

Having set a successful precedent, the council and York Safer Neighbourhood Team are continuing to carry out regular operations as part of late-night policing activities to target this form of anti-social behaviour, and further prosecutions are anticipated.

At Selby Magistrates Court on 10 January 2013 the following orders were granted to offenders caught by officers acting on ‘Operation Clean’ in July 2012:

• Thomas Swales of Blatchford Court, Clifton, York was fined £50, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was caught at Varvills Court

• Samuel Wellen of Russell Street, York was fined £50, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after being caught urinating in Peter Street

• Robert McGowan of Cornlands Road, York who was fined £75, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was seen urinating on Coney Street

• Mervyn Smith of Telford was fined £75, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was seen urinating in the Shambles

• David Benson of Goole was fined £75, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was seen urinating in Coney Street

• Christopher Doyle from Doncaster who was fined £75, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after being caught urinating in Bridge Street

• Jon Webb from Stockton on Tees was fined £100, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was seen urinating in Coney Street

• James Reeney of Byram, Knottingley was fined £50, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was seen urinating at Ouse Bridge

• Robert Peacock of Goole received a fine of £50, with £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge after he was caught urinating at Varvills Court.

Free unisex public toilets are available in the city centre at all times of the day and night at Union Terrace and Nunnery Lane car parks, at Exhibition Square and Tanner Row. The council’s The Silver Street facilities are open until 8pm every night and sometimes later when certain city centre events are occurring.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities said: “We will not tolerate this anti-social and unhygienic behaviour committed in our city by a small minority.

“Our innovative use of a city by-law and our partnership working with North Yorkshire Police will target this type of crime and prosecute those caught offending in this way.

Sergeant Fiona Willey, of the York Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is a positive result which I hope will show a decrease in this type of behaviour in the city centre. The majority of those prosecuted had just left a venue or were on their way to a venue where toilets were available.

“I hope this sends a clear message that people relieving themselves in a street or doorway is not acceptable and affects the quality of life for businesses and members of the public. We will continue to work with the council to ensure that offenders are dealt with robustly.”

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