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People who spend a penny in public have been warned they are in for a “nasty surprise” after a council installed anti-pee paint. The substance, which is being sprayed on walls in the Soho neighbourhood of London, creates a water-repellent coating designed so wee and other liquids bounce back on anyone urinating against the surface.
Westminster City Council is introducing the measure in the worst hit parts of Soho as the party seasons gears up before Christmas.
Councillor Aicha Less, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Protection, said in a statement: “Residents and businesses are fed up.
“It’s finally pee-back time and we’re taking action to stop people using alleyways or doorways as a toilet.
“The ingenious paint is one of a number of steps we are taking to discourage people from relieving themselves in public or on private property.”
She added if revellers are caught short after a night out, they should go before leaving their venue or use the public toilets around Soho and Westminster instead of alleyways and side streets.
Public peeing in central London has increased significantly since Covid restrictions were lifted, according to the council.
It maintains that the “constant” smell of urine in side streets is starting to “pee off” the locals.
Cleaning-up the streets costs the council almost £950,000 a year, Westminster said.
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Revellers who get caught also risk being fined.
Councillor Patrick Lilley, Soho and LGBTQ+ Champion, said: “I think it is an absolute disgrace that long-suffering residents have to put up with tourists using Soho as their personal toilet.
“If someone did their business outside your front door, I’m sure you’d feel the same.
“The anti-pee paint, combined with the community protection notices, should teach those perpetrators a lesson.”
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“There are plenty of public toilets within Westminster that are open late and free of charge that visitors can use instead of relieving themselves in the street.
“If you get caught in the act, be prepared to face the consequences.”
A Soho resident, who only gave the name Lucy, said: “I feel personally violated, having to walk past men peeing in the street, particularly at night. It does not feel safe.”
Lucy added: “Wading through streams of wee to get to my front door is not pleasant. No one can argue that this is acceptable wherever you live and people have a responsibility [to] use the facilities in the bar or club before they leave.
“Everyone likes a drink at Christmas, but people need to have some control.”
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