A council in England has come out smelling of roses after wielding a new and cost-effective weapon in the fight against anti-social behaviour.

Pig dung has been spread in a thick layer in woods in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, to deter youths from congregating and upsetting elderly people living close by.

A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council said: “Following complaints, an inspection of the area revealed it was being used to drink alcohol and take drugs, as paraphernalia known as ‘bongs’ were found. The Neighbourhood Safety Team commissioned the Area Care Service to cut back trees and thinned out the area to make it clearly visible from a footpath. The area care staff also provided and spread the pig manure.”

The woodland between Willowbank and Stainton Way has been crime-free since the innovative deterrent was introduced several weeks ago.

He added: “Feedback from the residents indicated that although there was a slight whiff in Willowbank, they would much rather have a pong than a bong.”

Councillor Jan Brunton, who represents the Coulby Newham ward, said initially she had disagreed with the crime-fighting approach but her opinion had changed.

“At first I was against it because of the smell. I would rather have found another way, so we tried to find a manure that did not smell as much due to the people living nearby. But I am pleased to say it has worked. I don’t know where the youths have gone, but they’re not here. It does not smell now but the manure is still here, so it has acted as a deterrent.”

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