Graffiti menace returns to Stowford Rise

PUBLISHED: 16:34 10 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:25 11 March 2016

Stowford Community Centre. Ref shs 10-16TI 2583. Picture: Terry Ife

Stowford Community Centre. Ref shs 10-16TI 2583. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Community members are calling on the police and council to stop vandals striking around Stowford Rise again after another spate of graffiti.

Graffiti on the entrance at Stowford Community Centre. Ref shs 10-16TI 2585. Picture: Terry IfeGraffiti on the entrance at Stowford Community Centre. Ref shs 10-16TI 2585. Picture: Terry Ife

The fences at Waitrose were ‘tagged’ at the weekend and the front of Stowford Community Centre was targeted on Tuesday night (March 8) – with the clean-up bill totalling hundreds of pounds.

Waitrose department manager Lee Cole said the supermarket had been graffitied five times in his 18 months there.

Earlier this year, the store’s signage was tagged during a spate of incidents around Stowford Rise that also saw bollards and a police sign spray-painted.

“It’s absolutely frustrating – we pride ourselves on our customer service and the ambience we create for our customers,” said Mr Cole. “It’s the cost of cleaning it up as well. It will cost a couple of hundred pounds to remove it.

Graffiti in the Waitrose car park. Ref shs 10-16TI 2581. Picture: Terry IfeGraffiti in the Waitrose car park. Ref shs 10-16TI 2581. Picture: Terry Ife

“As a community, we need to come together to figure out what we can do. We need support from the police and the local council.

“What can we do to prevent it? When we catch them, what are we going to do with them? If we just rap their knuckles they’ll do it again.”

Stowford Community Centre manager Jan Jones added: “It’s about time it stopped. It’s ridiculous. Defacing other people’s property is stupid.

“It doesn’t achieve anything except make places look not-so desirable.”

Graffiti in the Waitrose car park. Ref shs 10-16TI 2582. Picture: Terry IfeGraffiti in the Waitrose car park. Ref shs 10-16TI 2582. Picture: Terry Ife

Town and district councillor Dawn Manley, who lives in nearby Baker Close, said: “We need to look at what we can do to stop this menace.

“My message to the person doing it is what do you want or hope to achieve?”

She said she had seen the same tag three storeys up in the centre of Exmouth and could not believe her eyes.

PCSO Steve Blanchford-Cox said the ‘NKS’ tag of the previous incidents is seen worldwide, but attempts to link it with other Devon towns where it had been seen failed to deliver a named suspect. He added: “The community needs to inform us when this happens so we can direct patrolling and investigation to the area.”

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