There is to be a 12 week trial of portable toilets in Orange Grove on three days a week between 10pm and 3pm. The trial has the support of the police who argue that it is difficult to take effective enforcement action against street urination where there are so few public conveniences. The scheme also has the support of Fobra who are anxious see the council addressing the issue of public urination. The choice of location was, as we understand it, dictated by the need for the loos to be sited centrally and the need for some supervision which in Orange Grove can be provided by the late night taxi wardens.
TARA have a view that while the trial has value there is real concern that it will be unsuccessful as research has show we have now created a culture where vomiting and urinating in public carries little or no stigma among young late night drinkers and that they will urinate where it is most convenient for them; indeed you can see people leave licensed premises to urinate on the street before returning to the pub or club rather than queue for the pub toilet.
There is a need to create better permanent public facilities and reinstate some of the one that were closed and we will continue to lobby accordingly. There is however in addition an urgent need to counter the culture of public urination by a mixture of education about the damage and distress it causes and a much tougher enforcement regime.