Drunks who are caught short in Co Derry town help police clean up crime
Police in a small town have launched a novel initiative to flush out revellers caught short in public.
Throughout the festive season officers in Limavady have been heading out on patrol armed with a makeshift street-cleaning kit consisting of a brush and a drum of soapy water.
Those caught urinating on the streets of the Co Londonderry town are being offered the opportunity of a discretionary disposal – provided they agree to scrub the scene of their crime. If the perpetrator is too intoxicated at the time of the offence, they can arrange a later date to meet police and make amends.
The scheme came into play following a wave of complaints from local residents.
"In line with speedy justice, police have been giving some discretionary disposals to persons found doing this for the first time," a police spokesman said on the local PSNI Facebook page.
"Limavady police have decided that for urinating in the street there is an option to make amends.
"When circumstances allow, persons found urinating will be given the option to clean it up. If they are too intoxicated to do this police will arrange to meet them on another date to do this.
"So Santa's little helpers will be scrubbing the streets clean late at night to make them spotless for your enjoyment during the day."
Limavady mayor Gerry Mullan last night hailed the initiative.
"I don't think this is a problem unique to Limavady," the SDLP man said.
"But what the police are doing here is very good. It makes people think about what they have done and can educate them. I'm fully supportive of it."
Followers of Limavady PSNI's Facebook site had mixed views on the pilot scheme.
One said: "Maybe if there were toilets available to people between closing time and taxi availability this would not be an issue."
A police spokesman yesterday declined to comment further on the move.