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Manchester council bans swearing on streets near football stadium

The council said it was introduced to address anti-social behaviour.

Image: swearing image via Shutterstock

A COUNCIL IN Greater Manchester has sought to ban public swearing in an attempt to address anti-social behaviour in an area close to Old Trafford football stadium.

Salford City Council introduced a ‘Public Space Protection Order‘ to cover the quays area, with part of the order saying it will be deemed a criminal offence for a person to use foul or abusive language.

The quays area is used by thousands of football fans who use it as a route to and from the grounds.

In the order, the council said there have been issues of anti-social behaviour for many years in the Salford Quays and surrounding ares. Also included are prohibitions on throwing animals or wheelie bins into the water and urinating or defecating in a public space.

It does not detail what exactly it considers to be foul language.  Comedian Mark Thomas is sending the council a list of words he intends to use in his Salford show to see if they breach the order.

Human rights group Liberty has written to the council advising that its order could have “a chilling effect on freedom of expression”.

In a statement, Liberty’s Rosie Brighouse commented:

“The right to say what we want should not be restricted at the whim of council officials, able to issue fixed penalty notices on the basis of a poorly defined legal order. Without the freedom to offend, real freedom of expression cannot exist.”

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