The curse of swearing in public places

Date published: 28 January 2009

WHO doesn’t swear these days? From professionals in suits and teenagers on the streets — everyone is guilty of letting it slip every now and again. But a staunch group of campaigners say the country should adopt a zero-tolerance policy to stamp out swearing altogether. They have urged local councils and police forces to crack down on foul-mouthed language and introduce £80 fines for anyone caught swearing in public. Reporter USMA RAJA and photographer Chris Sunderland found out what the public of Uppermill had to say on the issue.

WHEN asked the question should swearing be outlawed in public places, some of the shoppers surveyed said they would, well, swear by a ban. Others cursed at the very idea.
John Burne (50) said he agreed with the ban but felt the fine was a bit too hefty.

Vincent Burke (63), of Uppermill, said: “My family have been brought up not to swear.

“We are Roman Catholic and I think its all down to the standard of bringing your family up.

“The television is setting the bad standard, so that doesn’t help children. I am all for the ban.”

Ian Smallwood (49), of Greenfield, had a different opinion. He said: “I don’t agree with the ban because sometimes such expressions are needed to get the point across.”

Joy Potts (68), of Dobcross, added: “It has always gone on and I have to admit I swear occasionally.

“I think a ban is ridiculous and the fine would not work either because a lot of the young people who swear don’t have that kind of money.”

Richard Whitmore (38), of Chadderton, said it should be banned. He explained: “The amount of children who walk past here ‘effin and jeffin’ is horrendous.

“The fine is a bit steep though — I think it should be about £40. Eighty pounds is a rip-off.”

Lorraine Highton (53), of Lees, said: “Swearing should be banned in public places because it’s quite offensive for some people.

“There is a time and place for everything. If it slips out accidentally then it is understood but if it’s being said all the time, then one should think again.

“The fine is a bit too much and I don’t think it would work.”

Donna Richardson (46), of Glossop, is all for a ban.

She said: “The fine is very steep. Swearing in public in front of the children is not a good idea, because they will pick it up.”

Louise Wells (25), of Diggle, added: “I don’t think it should be banned but it certainly isn’t acceptable to swear in public places.

“I think the fine is brilliant and should be imposed.”