CCTV plea to curb offensive graffiti
- Credit: Clare Howard
A resident who saw offensive graffiti scrawled across her fence once again believes installing more CCTV cameras is the only way to fix the issue.
Clare Howard of Chatteris was informed of the latest spate of offensive graffiti on her fence by a neighbour who saw the damage on Monday afternoon (July 19).
It is the third time in as many years that Clare has dealt with graffiti across the fence, having moved to the town 21 years ago.
“The first time it happened, Chatteris Street Pride repainted the affected area the day after it happened,” she said.
“The second time was about a year ago and I repainted the whole fence.
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“I just wish the youngsters had some artistic talent or less time on their hands so I wouldn’t have to waste what precious time I have clearing up their vandalism.”
Since the damage was done, Clare has received offers of help to repair and repaint the fence, including from Travis Perkins.
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Clare said she feels grateful for the support, free of charge, but believes this will not permanently solve the problem.
“It takes up time to put things right,” she said.
“I can’t say why it keeps happening; some youngsters seem to have a total lack of respect for anyone and anything.
“I’m not sure I’d want to broadcast such poor handwriting, lack of imagination or artistic flair. They’re definitely no future Banksy.”
Cambridgeshire police have been made aware of this and previous incidents amid calls for CCTV cameras from the town’s Neighbourhood Watch group.
Clare thinks without more surveillance around some of the town’s “hotspot areas” to try and catch potential culprits, she believes the vandalism will continue.
“Lots of youngsters use the path and it’s not nice for them to see the language that’s been written,” she added.
“It’s sad that these kids’ parents probably don’t know what they’re up to and probably wouldn’t care if they did.
“I don’t think the issue will be resolved without better CCTV in the town in hotspot areas, and perhaps police should be given more authority to hand out on the spot fines to parents of under 18s responsible.
“I have no problem with street art when it’s done properly and in the right place but this is just plain vandalism.”
A Cambridgeshire police spokesperson said the local policing team are dealing with an increase in anti-social behaviour in Chatteris and have worked with "a number of property owners" to reduce the issue.
The spokesperson added: "We have worked with partners to get a youth group running to reduce youth boredom.
"This is alongside the direct interaction and intervention with youths in the town, including the implementation and enforcement of a number of dispersal orders."
Fenland District Council has been approached for comment.