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Council installs pee paint to stop visitors urinating in Soho

Soho Urination campaign poster with the slogan 'don't pee off Soho'

Published: 14 December 2022

  • Pee paint is being installed in Soho to deter people from going to the loo in public.
  • The campaign ‘Don’t Pee Off Soho’ has been launched warning people of fines if caught.
  • Information about free public toilets and their opening hours can be found on the council’s website.

Westminster City Council are fighting back against people who urinate in public by treating walls with a pee paint that give perpetrators a nasty surprise if they attempt to relieve themselves on it.

The paint creates a water-repellent layer so that urine and other liquid bounce back onto the perpetrator doing the peeing, leaving them soaked.

The council will install the deterrent in worst affected areas in Soho, partnering with Veolia and businesses as well as City Inspectors who will be issuing written warnings, Community Protection Notices and Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) after residents have had enough.

Incidents of public urination in central London has increased significantly since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the constant smell of urine in side streets is understandably starting to pee off the residents. With the clean-up operation costing the council nearly £950k a year.

The deterrence is part of a campaign calling for party goers ‘Don’t Pee off Soho’. The anti-pee paint has been installed just in time for the festive party season with 5 further locations to be painted in the new year.

Measures to tackle the problem don’t stop there as the council have begun handing out penalty fines to party goers if they are caught short. Businesses will be offered information packs to share the posters in toilets and on social media to urging people to go before they leave the venue.

Cllr Aicha Less, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Protection said:

Residents and businesses are fed up.

It’s finally pee-back time and we’re taking action to stop people using alleyways or doorways as a toilet.

The ingenious paint is one of a number of steps we are taking to discourage people from relieving themselves in public or on private property.

With more people enjoying Soho and the West End in the lead up to Christmas, we are also stepping up enforcement and the hefty fine is the last thing people want before the holidays.

If people are caught short after a night out, I encourage visitors to go before you leave the venue or use the public toilets around Soho and Westminster instead of using alleyways or side streets.

Cllr Patrick Lilley, Soho and LGBTQ+ Champion added:

I think it is an absolute disgrace that long-suffering residents have to put up with tourists using Soho as their personal toilet.

If someone did their business outside your front door, I’m sure you’d feel the same. The anti-pee paint, combined with the community protection notices should teach those perpetrators a lesson.

There are plenty of public toilets within Westminster that are open late and free of charge that visitors can use instead of relieving themselves in the street.

If you get caught in the act, be prepared to face the consequences.

Lucy, a Soho resident said:

I feel personally violated, having to walk past men peeing in the street particularly at night it does not feel safe.

Wading through streams of wee to get to my front door is not pleasant, no one can argue that this is acceptable wherever you live and people have a responsibility use the facilities in the bar or club before they leave.

Everyone likes a drink at Christmas, but people need to have some control.

An interactive map sharing the location and opening hours for free toilets has also been updated allowing visitors to use the correct facilities.