Authority to step up its war on graffiti with cameras at vandalism hotspots

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The Wincheap underpass is covered in graffiti

Cameras are to be set up at graffiti hotspots as the city council intensifies its efforts to tackle graffiti across the Canterbury district.

The authority already has an extensive CCTV system and will employ an additional officer who will share information with the police and help businesses whose premises have been defaced.

The role will also involve giving last resort warnings to any premises which do not remove graffiti.

Tackling vandalism is a key election issue as voters prepare for the city council elections which take place on May 2.

A cross-party committee of councillors has recently condemned the anti-social behaviour which costs taxpayers’ thousands of pounds a year to clear up.

Douglas Rattray, the council’s head of safer neighbourhoods, said: “These people are causing criminal damage which is a crime and one that is investigated by the police.

Doug Rattray

“What might be considered by some to be low-level anti-social behaviour is having a real and tangible impact on our community.

“Graffiti adds to the fear of crime for people living, working and studying here and spoils an area that attracts thousands of visitors from home and abroad which contribute to the vibrancy of the local economy.

“It is also costing the residents affected, businesses, the utilities, public transport providers such as Network Rail and council taxpayers thousands and thousands of pounds to clean. This is not a victimless crime.

“We have been working on this issue for some time and this money would be much better spent on other frontline services.

“It is especially galling when we clean an area or remove a tag and the vandals take it as an opportunity to offend all over again. The public thinks we just haven’t bothered.”

Last year the council appointed a dedicated to monitoring vandalism reports and removing graffiti.

It carried out blitzes in vandalism hotspots such as Toddler’s Cove and the Castle Street multi-storey car park.

The authority also communicates with the police and Crown Prosecution Service in an effort to catch and bring offenders to justice.

Instances of vandalism can be reported via the Canterbury City Council website.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Graffiti situation is terrible, rough sleepers on the streets, Canterbury’s becoming a cesspit, something needs to be done.

  2. Graffiti situation is terrible, rough sleepers on streets, Canterbury’s becoming a cesspit, something needs to be done.

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