Actors in Sherlock Holmes costumes will spend the next two weeks pressing the case for cleaner sidewalks in Getafe, on the outskirts of Madrid. Then patrols will take to the streets to report any poo-petrators to the real police.
"Residents asked for this," said a spokeswoman for the mayor's office. A study in September, she said, showed an average of 7.8 pieces of dog excrement every 100 metres (yards).
The operation, dubbed "Canine Watch," takes inspiration from a similar clean-up programme in Colmenar Viejo, to the north of Madrid.