Monday, May 19, 2014
Graffiti vandals have ignored police warnings to strike again in Sidmouth – with a spate of new tags sprayed on buildings and walls across the town.
The fluorescent pink spray-paint has turned people’s heads after seemingly appearing overnight as offenders continue to use a cover of darkness to act.
Tagged areas include the wall outside of Sidmouth Conservative Club, The Old Meeting Unitarian Chapel, and other buildings dotted in and around the town centre.
Business owners have blasted the vandals, whose brazen offending has left them with another clean-up bill to foot.
Helen Neal, 43, who owns Hair Studio in Sidmouth, said she was ‘furious’ after her sign was sprayed with a pink tag over the weekend.
“I have had to ship the sign off to get relaminated,” she said. “But if that does not work, I will have to pay £80 for a new one.”
Helen has owned the shop for seven years but said she never experienced something like this.
She tried to wash the paint away but it simply turned into a gooey mess and left a bright pink stain on the sign.
“When I first saw the tag, my heart sank,” she added. “It’s utterly disrespectful and just mindless vandalism. I hope the perpetrator gets caught.
“I don’t hold out much hope for them being caught. If they are, I would like to see them having to go around painting people’s properties so they realise how hard the pink spray paint is to get off.”
Peter Glazier, honorary secretary of Sidmouth Conservative Club said the offender had a ‘childish mentality’ after the wall surrounding the club was ‘tagged’.
“It is an annoyance,” he added. “Whoever has done it has a childish mentality. We are not happy with it.”
Police have confirmed they are looking into the graffiti and have appealed for any more cases to be reported to them promptly.
Sergeant Andy Squires said: “We do have tried and tested methods of tackling graffiti offences. They do not work every time by any means but have been successful in the past.
“Graffiti is a criminal damage and an arrestable offence. In a magistrates’ court, it could warrant up to three months imprisonment and up to ten years in crown court. It could also carry a a fine of up to £1,000.”
The places targeted were Church Street (crime reference KS/14/236), Radway Place (KS/14/237) and a hairdressers in Sidmouth High Street (KS/14/239).
Officers are appealing for witnesses to this incident, or anyone who was in the area at the time, to contact them on 101 quoting the above references.