Taggers are being targeted in the latest move by Canterbury City Council to crack down on graffiti.
The council is offering a £500 reward for information that leads to the conviction of vandals responsible for a series of tags across the district.
Chairman of Canterbury City Council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “Criminal damage is a crime which is investigated by the police and has real victims – homeowners, businesses, the utilities and council taxpayers.
“Graffiti is having a damaging effect on our community and dealing with the consequences is using up valuable resources which could be better used on the frontline.
“We are cleaning off more tags than ever before but it is hard for the public to spot we’re doing that, because the graffiti vandals are quick to offend again.
“Someone will know who is behind this wanton destruction of other people’s property and we urge them to come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to email email@example.com in the strictest confidence.
Offering a reward is the latest in a raft of measures designed to turn the tide of graffiti which is costing council taxpayers thousands of pounds to clear up.
- The appointment of an officer dedicated to monitoring online reports and carrying out spot cleans. He has removed more than 600 tags since his appointment in October
- Supporting the council’s contractor Serco in the training of an extra graffiti cleaning operative
- Writing to retailers reminding them they should not sell aerosol spray paint to under 16s and they could be fined £2,500 if they do
- Writing to residents and businesses who are regular victims of graffiti to explain what help is on hand and making it easier to report graffiti online
- Installing cameras in graffiti hotspots in the hope of catching the vandals in the act
- Sharing intelligence with the police, supporting businesses and the utilities to clean graffiti from their premises or arranging for the council to do it for them for a fee
- Issuing Community Protection Warnings or Community Protection Notices as a last resort to those property owners who, after numerous offers of help and repeated warnings, do not tackle graffiti on their premises, starting with those who have substantial holdings or very high-profile buildings
- Identifying tagging hotspots within the city, Herne Bay and Whitstable that will benefit from anti-graffiti paint which makes it easier to clean, then supplying the paint
On receipt of a property owner’s permission, the council’s contractor Serco will clean graffiti from private properties for free up to four times in a year and twice for a business. Serco also removes offensive graffiti for free as quickly as possible.
Graffiti can be reported on the council’s website. If you see someone in the process of spraying graffiti, call 999.