Rapid response to clean graffiti

PUBLISHED: 11:57 06 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:18 24 May 2010

COMMUNITY safety chiefs and police are to put pressure on North Somerset Council to clean up unsightly graffiti in Portishead. The issue of graffiti being daubed across buildings, walls and bus shelters in the town was raised at the annual general meeting

COMMUNITY safety chiefs and police are to put pressure on North Somerset Council to clean up unsightly graffiti in Portishead.The issue of graffiti being daubed across buildings, walls and bus shelters in the town was raised at the annual general meeting of the town's Neighbourhood Watch Panel.Portishead and North Weston Town Council has already been forced to spend hundreds of pounds on cleaning up 15 of its vandalised shelters.At the meeting it was revealed North Somerset Council operated a rapid response unit to clean up graffitiBut Neighbourhood Watch members said very few people actually knew the service existed.Police will now be asking North Somerset Council for a clear policy on graffiti removal to ensure it cleaned off immediately and for details of how to contact the service to be made public.Portishead Local Action Team chairman Reyna Knight said: "There are issues with graffiti and the problem is that if it is left and not removed, it attracts other graffiti."North Somerset Council says it has a rapid response team which will come out and clean up the mess, but no one at the meeting seemed to know it existed."One man said he had reported graffiti to the council, but no one had responded."What needs to happen is for the damage to be reported to police and then the council immediately informed."Graffiti looks very unsightly and we don't want it to be the first thing people see when they visit the town."Portishead Police Sergeant said officers had been working to identify the graffiti artists.Sgt Scoble said: "We have the names of six possible offenders who are to be interviewed."I would encourage members of the public to report these incidents and names of any other offenders to us immediately or by ringing Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."North Somerset Council spokesman Steve Makin said the authority had a team which removed graffiti on its own land and property within seven days of being notified and that offensive and abusive graffiti was treated as a priority.Mr Makin added: "We collect evidence and records of graffiti and pass them to the police as part of our work to tackle crime and disorder. We also provide advice and guidance on the removal of graffiti from private property.

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