Graffiti clean-up kits up for grabs

VANDALISM victims are to be handed their own graffiti-cleaning kits in a bid to ease the growing problem.

Dave Gooderham

VANDALISM victims are to be handed their own graffiti-cleaning kits in a bid to ease the growing problem.

Homeowners and businesses in the Babergh area will be able to use the new clean-up sets thanks to a police and council initiative to tackle vandalism hotspots.

A new computer database has also been launched with vandals named and shamed and threatened with court action.

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The Babergh Community Safety Partnership (CSP), which is made up of councillors, health workers and members of the emergency services, identified tackling graffiti as a priority - believing it to increase the perception of crime among residents.

Ann Scott, Babergh District Council's community safety officer, said: “The CSP recognised there was a costly problem with the clear up of graffiti-related crimes.

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“Leaving graffiti on a property can give a boost to the perpetrator, attract more graffiti and help to fuel people's perceptions of crime.

“Having these kits available at short notice not only gets rid of the visual problem without delay but hopefully is one way we can try and stamp out this type of anti-social behaviour.”

The removal kits, which have been distributed to town and parish councils and will now be passed on to homeowners, are said to be easy-to-use and suitable for removing small-scale graffiti from surfaces like fencing and paintwork.

Peter Swinney , Babergh's estate ranger - who has used the equipment to clean up graffiti on council-owned property - said: “We do not have a huge amount of this type of crime but when it does happen, it can be annoying, time consuming to clean off and expensive.”

The kit includes chemicals to remove spray paint, ink and marker pens, safety goggles, gloves and cleaning brushes.

Meanwhile, police community support officers will be equipped with new digital cameras to capture the graffiti and to look for any links with the designs.

The pictures will then go on a database in a bid to identify the people responsible and to act as further evidence in court.

Anyone who would like more information on the removal kits should contact Ann Scott on 01473 826616.

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