Council workers have turned civic superhero by using wee-repellant paint to give revellers a soaking if they decide to relieve themselves in the street over the Christmas period.
Batman may be armed with shark-repellent spray but now special paint employed by Cheshire West and Chester Council is being used to target urination hot-spots.
The Pee-Back campaign is based on the use of liquid-repelling paint that has been applied to secret locations across the city.
Anyone who pees against these walls will find their pee bounces back and soaks their footwear and clothing.
It may sound like an April Fool’s Day joke but in fact it’s absolutely true.
A humorous online video, showing what will happen to transgressors, will be promoted extensively via social media and through a QR code on beer mats and posters.
The video shows a hipster sporting a beard enjoying a night out in Chester.
An accompanying script reads: “Every night people are out; laughing and having fun. But at the end of the night, a creature emerges. It has no respect for the city and pees in dark corners. But we are fighting back.”
The council turned to the extreme wee-busting measure after getting peeved with anti-social revellers spending a penny out in the open – potentially damaging historic structures and causing distress for residents and businesses.
And a light-hearted campaign informing people of the new initiative is being launched to coincide with the Christmas party season to create awareness and start a conversation.
The Pee-Back initiative is a collaboration between Streetscene, Regulatory Services, Community Safety and CH1 ChesterBID and has the support of Chester’s Pubwatch scheme.
It has been created in-house by the council’s design team with an official launch the week beginning December 5 but the campaign will continue through 2017, with heightened promotion at key times like during Chester races.
Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “Most party-goers will enjoy the festive season and respect our beautiful city. However a minority are damaging historic structures by using the city centre as a public toilet.
“The liquid-repelling paint has been applied in secret locations across the city. Anyone spending a penny in public this festive season may get more than they bargained for!"
City centre manager Nick White commented: “We’re pleased to be supporting this initiative in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council. It’s certainly a novel approach to the issue!
"We’re always willing to try new ideas, particularly if they can help us to address an issue that causes city visitors and businesses concerns like public urination. Together with our members and partners we’re aiming to create a city centre environment that is both welcoming and appealing and we hope this campaign will have a positive impact over the Christmas period.”
Urinating in public is a criminal offence and the council will prosecute individuals caught in the act. CCTV operators can direct police officers to offenders in seconds. In September this year, three offenders were taken to court and received fines totalling more than £1,000 between them.