Taggers make their mark in Old Town
GRAFFITI and anti-social behaviour are a growing problem in one corner of Old Town.
Belgrave Street, Dumbarton Terrace and their entrances on to Victoria Road have been the scene of increasing vandalism and criminal damage in the last six months, according to residents.
Wiltshire Police say they have had no reports of damage in those streets, although York Road, on the opposite side of Queen’s Park, has been a hotspot for graffiti.
Graham McLaughlin, Swindon Town Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team sergeant, made it clear the problem could be tackled if residents wished, with a speedy clean-up service available.
“We have had issues with graffiti in the York Road area in the past, but no crimes recorded in Dumbarton Terrace or Belgrave Street,” he said.
“When we see offenders we can pick up on trends in the tags they use. They are creatures of habit who continue in particular areas.
“We like to establish information on specific tags being used by these offenders and share it with the StreetSmart team.
“Residents can have it cleaned quite quickly if they want.
“We are regularly looking to arrest people and implement neighbourhood justice panels, which can enforce restorative justice, which has them cleaning up damage they have created.”
Marietta Katona, 24, a restaurant manager of Victoria Road, has had two graffiti tags on the side of her property leading into Dumbarton Terrace in the past six months.
She said the problem lay with late-night drinkers in Queen’s Park.
“There are a lot of strange people hanging around these streets at night. There are a lot of people coming out from the park at night,” she said.
Dorothy Maundrell, 65, of Dumbarton Terrace, lives in an end-of-terrace house and the Adver showed her the photo of the graffiti on her house.
“It has never really been a problem for me in 10 or 12 years of living here with a big plain wall down the side,” she said.
“I have noticed things get worse in the past six months, but I hadn’t even seen this latest one. I feel sorry for people who have just decorated their houses further down the street.”
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