Kind donation helps keep Norwich graffiti crackdown going

A community leader has dug deep into his own pockets to ensure that a campaign to rid the city's historic streets of graffiti can continue to be a success.

The Evening News has launched its Graffitibusters campaign in a bid to try to combat the growing number of illegal graffiti tags which are blighting this fine city.

The campaign, which is being supported by Norwich police, Central Norwich Citizens' Forum, Norwich City Council and the Norwich City Centre Partnership, has urged people to donate money, paint or time to help keep the streets clean.

But after an urgent appeal for paint, Julian Foster, chairman of the Norwich Safer Neighbourhoods Action Panel (SNAP) has boosted the campaign by making a donation of �500 in the hope that it will prompt others to follow his lead.

Mr Foster, who is also chairman of the Norwich Citizens' Forum, said: 'I would've preferred to make it an anonymous donation, but I knew if I did it publicly then it might stimulate others to do the same thing.

'I don't think there's any doubt that we will get money, but what I was concerned about was I didn't want Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) going out on a Sunday morning on a paint out, finding a lot of volunteers turn up and there being no paint for them to use. It seems to me that the only way to force the issue was to make a donation myself which would get us over the immediate problem. I don't mind because it's a very worthwhile thing to support.'

Mr Foster, who has been thanked by the police for his donation, said �100 has already been spent on purchasing paint for the clean-up which took place at Weavers Lane, off Haymarket in Norwich on Sunday.

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Earlier this month the Evening News reported how the plea for paint resulted in Mr Foster being contacted by The Mall in Norwich which might be in a position to help.

Mr Foster has welcomed the inquiry from The Mall and hopes that other organisations in the city might be in a position to pledge their support for the campaign which has already had a big impact on graffiti in the city where the issue was made a priority by the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT).

Mr Foster added: 'It is having an effect. I'm grateful to the Evening News for launching its Graffitibusters campaign, which has stimulated all the wonderful people who have turned up at our programme of paint-out days in Tombland, Pottergate, King Street, Rose Lane car park and Weavers Lane.'

Have you got a graffiti story? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436.