Erewash Borough Council has given the green light to a new byelaw to prevent people urinating and defecating in public town centre spaces.
The measure was given unanimous support at a meeting of the full council onThursday, March 9.
It is designed to give police new powers to crackdown on people committing the acts in designated parts of Ilkeston and Long Eaton.
Councillor Carol Hart said: “We don’t have a major problem in our town centres, but when it does happen it is obviously totally unacceptable.
“The respectable majority have great pride for their town and I really do feel for the shopkeepers, businesses and our own council teams that have to clear up such disgusting mess.”
Residents were asked for their views on the new byelaw into force during a widespread consultation last year and there was strong support for the move.
Coun Hart added: “There was overwhelming support for action and this byelaw will help and will hopefully serve as a deterrent.”
Urinating or defecating in public is a problem in many town centres across the country – usually at night and weekends as revellers leave pubs and nightclubs and use shop doorways, alleyways and other areas as ‘toilets’.
Police currently have only limited powers but the new byelaw will make the behaviour a criminal offence and anyone caught will face a fine of up to £500.
The council’s neighbourhood wardens will also support police officers in enforcing the byelaw.
The council must now publish a notice of the making of the byelaw locally and on its website and written representations can be made supporting or opposing the measure for a set time frame of not less than 28 days.
It is hoped that the byelaw will be in place by the summer and signs will be put up in the two town centres informing the public that it is coming into force.