Barrington prohibits going potty in public


The Barrington Town Council approved four new ordinances at its meeting on Monday, July 1, including one law that prohibits urinating or defecating in public.

That law could have aided local police during an incident on June 28, when a New Bedford, Mass. man who was working near Hamilton Avenue felt the urge to go the bathroom and reportedly defecated in a wooded area near someone’s backyard.

A neighbor noticed the situation and called police who responded to the scene, but could not charge the individual. The town did not have a law on the books prohibiting urinating or defecating in public. The closest-related ordinance is one for indecent exposure.

The new ordinance — No. 2013-3 — states, in part, that “No person acting alone or in concert with others shall: ... (F) Urinate or defecate on any public street, alley or sidewalk or the floor of any public place or public building where the public has the right to gather or to which it has access;”

The penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine of up to $100, 30 hours of community service, or imprisonment for up to 30 days.

The council also approved three other ordinances: one dealing with possession or consumption of alcohol by an underage person, another focused on peddling, soliciting and transient merchants, and one that lists salaries and compensation for non-union employees in Barrington.

The council approved the ordinances as part of the town’s establishment of a local municipal court; violations of these ordinances can now be dealt with in the municipal court. No date has been set for the first session of the Barrington municipal court.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.