POLICE in Frodsham will mount late-night festive season patrols to flush out offenders using town centre streets as a public toilet.
Officers will accompany Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and borough council Community Safety Wardens on weekend patrols between 9pm and 3am, starting on December 12.
The team will go equipped with water bousers – and anyone caught urinating or vomiting in the street or shop doorways will be given the chance to clean up their own mess, there and then, rather than face a £75 fine.
Sgt Anne Boothby is keen to curb the anti-social behaviour she imputes mostly to drunken men – and she is making the most of new powers to help tackle the problem.
In line with the Litter section of the Environmental Protection Act, Vale Royal Borough Council has now instructed PCSOs to also issue Fixed Penalty Notices to people caught urinating or vomiting in the street. Under the regulations, if offenders refuse to pay the £75 fine they could be prosecuted.
Said Sgt Boothby: “The regulations have been opened up and I’m seizing the opportunity to address this problem.
“Police officers are not trained in the use of these fixed penalty notice, but PCSOs are, and the way I can help deal with it is to work with people who have the powers.”
She added: “I have definitely noticed this problem in Frodsham, but I think the public’s attitude towards it has deteriorated and people are not bothered about doing it openly. I think it’s become almost accepted and tolerated.
“Hopefully, we can try together to make people more aware that this sort of behaviour is just not acceptable.”
Sgt Boothby has asked Frodsham Town Council to consider imposing a bylaw against the anti-social practice, but Town Clerk, Alison Kunaj, said the authority is not empowered to do this, and the request has been passed to Vale Royal Borough Council.