Action to stop graffiti vandalism

ANALYSING students' textbook doodles and building a graffiti wall are just some of the ideas being put forward by police in Cheddar to tackle ongoing vandalism in the village. Officers are also hoping to get people who are on probation to clean up any gra

ANALYSING students' textbook doodles and building a graffiti wall are just some of the ideas being put forward by police in Cheddar to tackle ongoing vandalism in the village.Officers are also hoping to get people who are on probation to clean up any graffiti and use repellent paint to protect the area.Police community support officer (PCSO) Matthew Webb has asked for the support of residents and local councillors to crack down on the problem.Many of the graffiti signatures, known as tags, are repeated around the village and police are hoping to work with Cheddar schools to identify the culprits. PCSO Webb said: "Some of the tags are probably very similar to doodles in work books, so teachers and students may be able to help us. We also want to run competitions with the schools to design anti-graffiti posters and short films."The problem is spread around the area, from cycle paths to the reservoir and industrial estate. The parish council has made several complaints in the past, especially about the graffiti in Hannah More Park. "Not only is it appearing on walls, but property and fences as well. It shouldn't be down to the property owner to clean it up."I have been chatting to the probation services and would like to see people who are given community orders clear it up."PCSO Webb has also researched special paints, which will not only cover the graffiti but repel any further spray painting. One of the ideas for reducing graffiti is to have a designated wall that youngsters can decorate. Once the graffiti artists have a wall they can be proud of, the chances of graffiti appearing again would be rare. But members of Cheddar Parish Council are unsure about a wall. Cllr Jeff Savage said: "It seems like an obvious question, but what happens once the wall is full? If it is proven to work elsewhere, we can only base our predictions on that, but I don't think I will believe it until I see it. I think the wall will fill up, and then the youths will start looking elsewhere."Anyone who would like to suggest suitable places for a graffiti wall can email Matthew at matthew.webb@avonandsomerset.police.uk


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