Vandalism and graffiti are persistent problems in Canterbury

Day of action to tackle graffiti blighting Canterbury

Fighting graffiti and the vandals who do it has become a priority for Canterbury City Council’s enforcement officers.

They took part in a day of action to remove 500 tags from utility boxes, bus stops, bins, phone booths and notice boards.

They have also made it their goal to clean off at least pieces of graffiti as they go about their normal duties.

Ambassadors from the Canterbury Connected Business Improvement District (BID) helped with the clean up.

Cllr Neil Baker, the council’s community committee chairman, said: “This is a beautiful place to live, work and visit so it is incredibly frustrating when vandals spoil it for the sake of a scrawl that has no artistic merit whatsoever.

An council officer cleans a pillar box

“We would much prefer to spend council taxpayers’ hard-earned money on other frontline services than graffiti wipes and the like.

“Graffiti vandals should beware – our enforcement officers are determined to catch you in the act and we will not hesitate to take action.”

The council’s contractor Serco will clean offensive graffiti within two hours of receiving the report.

It will clean graffiti for free from people’s homes on four occasions if the owner signs a waiver allowing them to do the work.

For commercial premises, the council will write to owners and ask them to remove it.

If action is not taken, the council will issue a Community Protection Warning which threatens further action if it not removed.

If this fails, the council will issue a Community Protection Notice (CPN) ordering for the graffiti to be removed by the owner or occupier.

If the CPN is not adhered to, the council can issue a fine via a fixed penalty notice and arrange for the graffiti to be removed and the costs recovered from the owner or occupier. The council can also take the matter to court.

On February 14, the council launched its Love Where We Live campaign which is designed to persuade people not to drop their litter, let their dog foul without clearing it up, daub graffiti or fly-tip rubbish.

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