Mystery over serial defecator targeting Nottingham street corner

Two students, Flo Banham (L) and Lucie Walsh (R), kneel next to old brick wall on Cromwell Street with poo obscured by black boxes on street
Flo (L) and Lucie (R) just want to know what's going on -Credit:Nottingham Post

A serial defecator is seemingly targeting a Nottingham street corner. Deposits of, what is believed to be, human faeces began to appear beneath a lamppost on Cromwell Street more than a month ago.

The apparent faeces, which are accompanied by toilet paper, have been cleared up on occasion by Nottingham City Council. But they keep reappearing, say students Lucie Walsh and Flo Banham, and the situation is getting out of hand.

Lucie said: "I just want to know why. Is it, like, a fetish? If it was a homeless person, why wouldn't they just do it in the Arb(oretum)? I don't see why right by the road with the trams is the choice. This is my Roman Empire. I probably spend more time posting about this than I do on my studies."

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The situation initially started before Nottingham Trent University broke up for Easter. But it has continued since they returned, explained Flo, to the point where there has now been three in the past week.

She said: "There was one at first. Then, on my way to uni, I started to see probably one a week. It's really weird. At first I thought it was dog muck but then I started to think it was actually from a human. It's just a bit disgusting. It definitely happens overnight too, because we see it in the morning. It's so bad."

Two students, Flo Banham (L) and Lucie Walsh (R), kneel next to old brick wall on Cromwell Street with poo obscured by black boxes on street
The students began noticing the dirty deposits more than a month ago -Credit:Nottingham Post

The most recent deposits, of which there are two, appeared on Saturday morning (April 27) and Monday morning (April 29), said Lucie, a law and psychology student. The previous one had not been cleaned up before the new one appeared.

In the past, when the faeces has been cleared, the toilet paper has been left, the students said. The street often "stinks" like a "public toilet", added the pair.

A representative from a nearby business said that the defecations have been appearing nearly every day and they are always reported to Nottingham City Council. But other passers-by said they hadn't noticed, including a pair of friends who were shocked to hear of the stinky situation.

Another pair of students walking up the street reacted with surprise when the faeces was pointed out to them. Cromwell Street, which runs alongside Nottingham Cemetery and connects Alfreton Road to Waverley Street, opposite the Arboretum, is home to a number of student houses.

There does not appear to be a specific law which makes it illegal to defecate in a public place. It could be classed as a crime under the Public Order Act 1986 if it causes a person alarm or distress, but the defecating act must be intended to do so.

It could also be classed as "outraging public decency" - a behaviour or display which is lewd, obscene or disgusting and takes place in public. Nottingham City Council was approached for comment.

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