A spate of graffiti is blighting Cheltenham as tags appear on the walls of car parks, buildings and on bus stops. Police are reviewing CCTV footage and have been conducting patrols in plain clothes.
Cheltenham Neighbourhood Policing Team is now asking for the public’s help in identifying those responsible. They say the graffiti is criminal damage that costs a lot of money to remove.
Inspector Steve Benbow said: “We have noticed an increase in graffiti over recent months and are doing all we can to find those responsible. Graffiti is criminal damage and often costs a large amount of money to remove, so we’re working alongside our colleagues at Cheltenham Borough Council to identify and remove any new graffiti where possible.”
Information can be submitted by completing the online form and quoting incident 349 of April 13. Alternatively you can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or online. If you see graffiti in progress, call 999.
Six varieties of graffiti have been identified by the borough council. It says graffiti is undermining the aim of ensure Cheltenham’s long-term viability as a retail and cultural destination and has identified six types of graffiti.
Six basic categories
Juvenile – generally takes the form of “x loves y” type messages or lists of first names. They are usually written with felt-tip or marker pens
Tags – stylised personal graphic identifiers depicting names or nicknames, which are often large and in bold colours. Tags can be pictorial, drawn free hand or using stencils, and are usually painted with spray cans or drawn with marker pens
Scratches – marks caused by the deliberate use of a sharp instrument to cut into painted surfaces, wood, plastic, brick etc. However, if these scratches form words, then they should be classified as ‘juvenile’ or ‘tags’ as appropriate
Ghost – graffiti which has been partially removed or has faded to such an extent that it is has lost its initial visual impact
Contentious – any graffiti which could be offensive to particular members of the general public. This would include any obscene, racist, political or religious graffiti
Stencil – any graffiti which has been sprayed through a stencil, unless it is deemed that it forms a ‘tag’