Reward if you catch the Exeter taggers
CLEANING bosses have stepped up their fight against graffiti in the city.
They are offering a reward for information that leads to the conviction of prolific 'taggers', who leave signature-style graffiti known as tags.
And they have secured a grant of £2,000 from the city's Community Safety Partnership which will be used to buy 30 cleansing kits for community associations to clean 'low level' graffiti.
The city council has set up a Facebook page – www.facebook.com/TheWritingOTW – which features the work of paint vandals. And information is required about the prolific offenders responsible for these four images, pictured right.
Complaints from residents about graffiti are increasing and the new kits will enable volunteers from community associations to clean paint from house walls and gates.
The council will also pay for packs which will give householders advice about dealing with graffiti and a sticker appealing for anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers.
Robert Norley, the city's assistant director for environment, said: "We want to make it absolutely clear that tagging is a criminal offence – it is not just a little bit of fun and those found guilty and convicted will have a criminal record. We are offering what I would describe as a sizeable cash reward for information leading to a conviction.
"Tagging makes an area look run-down. Also, it costs people a lot to deal with graffiti."
Mr Norley added: "We are looking to have one or two community associations in a pilot scheme with the cleaning kits and packs. If these are successful we would hope to introduce it in other wards."
St James city councillor Kevin Mitchell is keen for his ward to take part.
"Tagging is a mindless act that has a major detrimental impact on communities, not only is it unsightly but it can also lead to an increase in other anti-social behaviour," he said.
"St James has recently been targeted by taggers but I know that the local community will not tolerate this intrusion.
"I very much support the pilot that will occur elsewhere in the city and look forward to it being rolled out to St James in the future. I would also call on anyone who knows anything about the individuals who carry out tagging to contact the police – it is a crime, should not be tolerated and should be treated robustly."
Anyone with information about the tags or the taggers in the photographs, or of any others in the city, should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.