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Norwich's graffiti crackdown set to continue

PUBLISHED: 08:27 17 November 2011 | UPDATED: 17:17 17 November 2011

The anti-graffiti campaign was launched in Norwich City Centre. Left to right, Peter Mitchell, managing director of Jarrold, Inspector Chris Brooks, City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team and Julian Foster, chairman of the City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The anti-graffiti campaign was launched in Norwich City Centre. Left to right, Peter Mitchell, managing director of Jarrold, Inspector Chris Brooks, City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team and Julian Foster, chairman of the City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

A concerted campaign to rid graffiti from the streets of Norwich is set to continue after the issue was made a policing priority for another three months.

The Evening News Graffiti Busters campaign, supported by Norwich police along with Norwich City Council, the Central Norwich Citizens Forum and the Norwich City Centre Partnership, was launched earlier this year. It has already attracted dozens of volunteers, armed with brushes, to attend paint-out sessions.

The campaign was launched after the City Centre Safer Neighbourhood policing team (SNT) agreed to make graffiti one of its priorities earlier in the summer. And the crackdown is set to continue after the latest meeting of the city centre’s Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP), which agreed to extend it. The decision made at this month’s meeting at the Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich, means graffiti will continue to be a priority for the team until after the New Year.

Inspector Chris Brooks, from the City Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The project has and continues to be extremely successful and in improving the city’s appearance by removing eyesore graffiti from buildings and walls.

“The campaign has been embraced by members of the community who have been keen to help improve the area in which they live and work.

“Graffitibusters continues to have momentum and while there is support for the project we will continue to work with partner agencies to remove graffiti from our communities.”

Julian Foster, chairman of the city centre Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) said keeping graffiti as a priority for the next three months would help to continue the great work the campaign has already achieved.

He said: “I just think we started on this with great enthusiasm and I always hoped that we would be able to sustain it.

“But it was beyond anything we’ve ever attempted before and I think everyone approve of the way we’re using the resources and equipment that’s been donated to us and I’m extremely grateful to the Evening News and everything you’ve done to promote that.

“It’s a real example of partnership working - bringing us all together to get this working and I think we ought to be immensely proud of what’s happened.”

Mr Foster, also chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum, said keeping graffiti a priority was the only way they would be able to commit police resources to the project.

He said: “As soon as it ceases to become a priority for the SNAP team they will not be able to use police transport and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

“It’s they who we rely on to transport volunteers out to the various sites and keep a log of where the graffiti is occurring.”

The campaign has been such a success that bosses in Norwich are hoping other policing areas will take it on to help keep their parts of the city graffiti free.

Mr Foster said: “It would be nice to see the whole of Norwich be graffiti clear and boast that we’ve got a graffiti free city.”

The Graffitibusters campaign has received the support of volunteers from across the city who have attended weekly paint out sessions in different parts of the city.

But it has also received a number of notable donations from businesses in the city which have provided paint and other resources for the volunteers to use.

The Mall in Norwich donated more than 200 litres of paint in July while bosses at Norfolk County Council’s recycling centre at Ketteringham, near Norwich, which is run by May Gurney, donated a further 66 tins of different types of paint after reading about the campaign.

The Wilkinson home and kitchenware store donated £500 worth of vouchers to help purchase paint and cleaning products as part of the celebrations to mark the opening of its St Stephen’s Street store in September.

The store has also vowed to help bolster volunteer numbers at future paint out events by urging members of staff to do their bit to keep the city clean.

<t> A paint out was held on Sunday <13th> at Anglia Square and volunteers are encouraged to take part in future events which will be held between midday and 2pm on Sundays.

Many of the problem areas in the city centre have been dealt with and focus will now move to areas on the outskirts of the centre on Magdalen Street.

The next paint out is taking place on Sunday <20>. Volunteers should meet at the Public Enquiry Officer at Bethel Street for 11.45am ready to start at noon. The PCSOs will then meet them and take them to the chosen locations.

Anyone interested in taking part in paint outs should contact the team by emailing sntcitycentre@norfolk.pnn.police.uk.

<t> To find out more about the Graffitibusters campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk and click on campaigns.

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How you can help

You can help by sending your donations to Graffitibusters, Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum, 2 Roaches Court, Norwich, NR3 1HJ. Cheques should be made payable to Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum.

Donating paint – Send your paint, unopened tins or opened tins that are properly sealed, to Sgt Peter Sharples, City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Bethel Street Police Station, Norwich, NR2 1NN.

Volunteering – Anyone interested in volunteering to help attend clean- up sessions should contact Sgt Peter Sharples at Bethel Street Police Station via 0845 456 4567 or write to Sgt Peter Sharples, City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Bethel Street Police Station, Norwich, NR2 1NN.

Reporting graffiti – Call Norwich City Council on 0344 980 3333, or alternatively, email info@norwich.gov.uk

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