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Fines issued for weeing in Hackney’s streets treble – with women ‘worst culprits’

07:00 18 October 2016

Publicity images for the 'peeback' paint trialled in Dalston and Shoreditch last year, with the intended outcome of the paint shown in the right-hand image. Picture: Publicis Pixelpark

Publicity images for the 'peeback' paint trialled in Dalston and Shoreditch last year, with the intended outcome of the paint shown in the right-hand image. Picture: Publicis Pixelpark

Archant

Fines issued for weeing in the streets of Hackney have gone up threefold in the past year – and women are apparently the worst culprits.

Sgt Mark Page from Hackney's night-time economy team with laughing gas canisters seized in Hoxton Square. Picture: Lola CooneSgt Mark Page from Hackney's night-time economy team with laughing gas canisters seized in Hoxton Square. Picture: Lola Coone

Hackney Council has fined more than 800 people for relieving themselves in public over the past 12 months – an average of 15 a week.

The town hall splashes out £100,000 every year washing urine off walls and pavements because of people urinating in the streets and on people’s doorsteps.

Last year the council even trialled two “peeback” walls in Dalston and Shoreditch at a cost of £1,000. Their “splash-back” coating repels liquid, supposedly sending urine splashing off the wall and back onto the culprit.

It also stops urine soaking into the wall, reducing stains and relieving homeowners of unpleasant aromas.

But Sgt Mark Page from Hackney’s night-time economy police team (NET) told the Gazette that – perhaps surprisingly – most people he sees urinating in the street aren’t male.

“Drunk women are the worst,” he said.

“We had one woman who was drunk and with her friends. There’s a paramedic who works with us – he turned up in his Volvo estate.

"We had one woman... a paramedic sat her on the tailgate and she decides to then drop everything and urinate in the back of the car"

Sgt Mark Page

“He sat her on the tailgate and she decides to then drop everything and urinate in the back of the car.”

Fines issued for urination at the two treated “peeback” sites did fall slightly but the council said increased patrols and extra urinals could also have helped slash the figures.

There are two sets of public toilets in Dalston at Ridley Road Market and Dalston Passage which are open 24 hours a day and temporary urinals at New Inn Yard, Gillett Square and Anning Street at weekends.

The council’s safety and enforcement chief Cllr Caroline Selman said: “Street urination is a real problem that many of our residents are all too aware of despite an increase in the number of public urinals and our wardens issuing a greater number of fines.

“We know it’s not the whole solution, but it is part of our strategy that includes making people more aware of the problem, and businesses playing their part by letting people use their toilets.”

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