Brent Council reignites campaign to tackle paan spitting

Sonia Shah (Vice Chair of WCARA), Trevor Gaskin (Keep Wembley Tidy) and Councillor Krupa Sheth (Wemb

Sonia Shah (Vice Chair of WCARA), Trevor Gaskin (Keep Wembley Tidy) and Councillor Krupa Sheth (Wembley Central) promoting the a no paan spitting campaign in 2018 - Credit: Brent Council

A campaign to clamp down on people spitting out blood-red chewing tobacco has been launched in Brent. 

Brent Council is urging the community to discourage paan spitting in the borough, which can damage the pavement and costs thousands to remove. 

Paan is a tobacco leaf-based mixture, popular in parts of Asia, which is customarily chewed and spat out.

When it dries, the tobacco leaves a blood-like stain on pavements which is difficult to get rid of. 

According to the council, it spends up to £30,000 a year removing these stains across the borough. 

It has previously “stepped up” enforcement against the practice, with those caught spitting subject to £100 on-the-spot fines. 

Community groups in Brent have supported the campaign, including the Brent Paan Action Network and the Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir – a Wembley temple blighted by paan stains.

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Cllr Krupa Sheth said: “Paan spitting is disgusting and a stain on our community. We need a shift in behaviour. 

“It is heartening to see members of the Wembley community taking positive actions, supported by the council, to help put an end to this anti-social act.”

The Brent Paan Action Network has said it is important to “raise the profile” of what paan spitting is and how damaging it can be to neighbourhoods across North West London. 

Its founder Hiten Patel said it is “a small minority” that causes wider problems for everyone and it will take a community effort to overcome this. 

The council is now targeting certain areas in the borough which have a particular problem with paan spitting. 

In 2009 there were calls for the council to act as paan spitting was blighting the High Road in Wembley.

In 2014 Kilburn resident Nicola Patterson launched a petition to ban the practice.

The council has even rolled out £80 fines for those seen spitting as it is seen as a form of littering.

Pavements along Wembley High Road and Ealing Road have been thoroughly jet washed and there have been attempts to brighten up these areas through public art, such as the recently revealed mural to the 1970s factory striker Jayaben Desai.

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