For those of you who love paan, you might want to think twice before chewing it in the UK. If you are in the city of Leicester, you could have to pay a fine of £150 ($195) for spitting paan.
The signboard, recently put up by the city's police department in collaboration with Leicester City Council, clearly singled out Gujaratis. "Spitting paan on the street is unhygienic and anti-social. You could be fined £150 ($195)" it read, first in Gujarati then in English.
According to Leicestershire Police, the habit seemed to be more prevalent in the east section of the city, including areas like Spinney Hills and North Evington. Belgrave, which also has a high density of Indians, was also one of the affected places.
A 2010 report in BBC mentioned that in that year, a North-London based council called Brent Council tried to regulate the issue by fining those found guilty of illegal expectoration. In 2014, the London Council issued an £80 ($104) fine on those found guilty of "anti-social" spitting.
The Council also stated that paan juice stains were hard and expensive to remove from roads and sidewalks and also caused diseases, along with destroying the aesthetic beauty and sanitation of a place.
The Brent Council, newsreports said, spends approximately £30,000 ($39,000) annually in cleaning the stains from the boroughs under it. In October 2018, the Council along with city representatives from Veolia, Wembley Central and Alperton Residents’ Association started a fresh anti-spitting campaign.