Conservative-run Preston Council are banning swearing in their streets. Culprits face £80 fixed penalty notices. Will the police actually enforce this or will the measure just consist of warning posters on lamp posts rather than something than happens in reality? On the other hand where the police do enforce it will they do so with discretion, dealing with it where it is aggressive and loud rather than inadvertent?

Of course in the past there was much stronger peer group pressure against swearing in public, especially in front of women or children and so such an initiative would have been unnecessary. But it will be interesting to see how it works out. For many people walking down a street hearing others swearing is as bad or worse as seeing litter. I think Preston Council might well have come up with a good idea.

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