A district in London has installed "anti-pee paint" on walls aimed at discouraging local revellers from publicly urinating, AFP has reported.
In particular, the Soho district in central London, famous for its bar scene and vibrant nightlife, has sprayed a dozen "strategic" locations with a transparent water-repellent liquid which immediately splashes back any discharged fluids — a potentially embarrassing hazard for anyone attempting to take an unauthorised public tinkle.
Although public urination has long been an issue for Soho's 3,000 or so local residents, the problem was recently compounded after the district's two underground public toilets were closed indefinitely as a safety precaution during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Throughout the night, you could have thousands of people who had been drinking and certainly in the summer with the closed toilets, Soho smelled," local resident Tim Lord told APF.
Lord's remarks were corroborated by local councillor Aicha Less.
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"Obviously pee isn't very pleasant and our residents are very upset," said Less. "They step out their front door in the morning and you just get the stench of urine."
In addition to combating the foul smell, Soho's residents hope that the anti-pee paint will lower the amount spent on street cleaning by Westminster City Council (which includes Soho), which currently stands at around £1 million (or €1.14 million) every year.
"If the pee paint works it will reduce the problem of smelly streets in the summer, in particular, so that's to be welcomed," said Lord. "We hope it works."