Graffiti and other criminal damage has become a real issue for residents and visitors, encouraging South Somerset District Councillors, Tony Fife and Ian Martin, to set up a task force of the relevant services to deal with the culprits and clean up the area.
Many people do not realise that graffiti is a crime carrying a possible £1000 fine and is reportable to the Police.
The Task Force would like the public to be vigilant in reporting incidents they witness, at the time, to the Police, if the culprit is still in the area or just left using the 999 emergency.
The full extent of the problem is being ascertained, and would like people to report all existing incidents of Graffiti to SSDC 01935 462462 who will work to have it removed. If the graffiti is offensive the removal will be carried out as quickly as possible.
Extra resources have been directed to graffiti removal in Yeovil over the past three weeks and recently operatives from SSDC’s Streetscene Services have moved out of the town centre and started to work on the north side of Reckleford and around the Preston Road areas. A response team has been set up to deal with difficult, hazardous and involved cleansing situation and the operatives have received training to help identify the type of paint/material used by vandals which will help aide them to remove the graffiti using the correct type of chemicals. Identifying the paint/material all adds to this time consuming and expensive operation. Nearly 40 sites have been cleaned so far, with a large collection of before and after photos building up.
Yeovil CCTV has been alerted to the problem and will be monitoring activity related to this type of crime. Additional equipment is being used to monitor hot spot areas in the hope to catch and prosecute offenders.
Councillor Tony Fife, Community Safety Portfolio Holder said, “Our town is being destroyed by mindless individuals who have little respect for property or the people they upset, the time has come to fight back and as a council we will not hesitate to take proceedings against the culprits for the cost of removal”.
The task force are now pulling together every available resource to combat this criminal activity and will support the public to catch the culprits.
Councillor Ian Martin has received complaints direct from the public and in pulling the task force together, he said, “We are re-prioritising this type of crime and are going to direct resources to maintain our environment and keep our streets clear of this type nuisance”.
If members of the public have information or would like to help please contact the task force via Steve Brewer 01935 462462 or your local Police Officer.