msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 12/28/2011 9:09:59 AM ET 2011-12-28T14:09:59

It is a crime-fighting tactic that's not to be sniffed at. An English council says it stopped teenagers congregating in woodland by spraying the area with pig manure.

Middlesbrough Council, in northeastern England, said Wednesday it had spread the dung over a stretch of land in Coulby Newham after residents complained that gangs of young people were gathering to drink and take drugs.

Officials said they adopted the unusual tactic after a search uncovered drug-related paraphernalia hidden in the woodland.

In a statement reported in the Darlington and Stockton Times newspaper, 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 woodland has been crime-free since the smelly deterrent was introduced several weeks ago, the newspaper said.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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