Community wardens fight back against graffiti vandal targeting town

Sudbury community wardens graffiti removal machine

The community wardens had their graffiti machine donated to them 12 years ago, which has allowed them to stamp out graffiti quickly. - Credit: Sudbury Community Wardens

Community and street wardens in Sudbury are fighting back against graffiti as vandals target the town and surrounding area.

The valley walk and old bathing pool in Sudbury, as well as Great Cornard's Poplar Road bus shelter and underpass have been the target of graffiti in the past few days and weeks.

Community warden Bradley Smith said: "It’s annoying, it does take us away from what we like to do and what we’re doing.

"At this time of year, we’re really busy taking down Christmas lights, so it is diverting the wardens away from their day to day.”

The damage is believed to be the work of an individual as the same illuminous yellow, green and pink paint is being used, as well as the perpetrator leaving "the same tag".

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Community warden Bradley Smith - Credit: Archant

The offender is using "temporary road marking type paint" that is actually helping the wardens as it is easier to remove. However, the location of some of the graffiti is proving to be a difficulty.

Mr Smith added: "Because of where it is like a bus shelter which is accessible to the public with footpaths running past the graffiti will only take 10 minutes to come off but it might take us half an hour to be able to do it because we’ve got to put out road signs and cones to make the area safe.

Graffiti left in Sudbury

An example of graffiti found in Sudbury. - Credit: Sudbury Community Wardens

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"So sometimes it’s a long-winded process for something that takes a short amount of time to come off.”  

The community and street warden scheme was created 15 years ago with the aim of improving the local environment and has benefited from the donation of a machine to help tackle graffiti in the town.

Mr Smith said: "We’re quite lucky as 12 years ago we had a lady called Jean Chapman come forward and donate the machine that we use.

“Before we had the machine, we couldn't do the work. We only had handheld bits and now we’ve got the pressure washer on wheels and the hot washer and that sort of stuff.

“She wanted it to be used in the community and graffiti to be removed free of charge from residential and public property.

"Anything commercial like businesses, if they're hit by graffiti, they pay for the removal which keeps the service free of charge for the public.”