‘Taggers’ arrested as police crackdown on surge in graffiti in Norwich

Graffiti and tags on a building end in St Margaret's Street in Norwich.

Graffiti and tags on a building end in St Margaret's Street in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

An upsurge in graffiti and tagging on walls across Norwich city centre has prompted a police crackdown that has led to arrests.

Police are using plain clothes patrols and targeting areas that have seen a steep rise in spray painted tags on buildings, walls and street furniture over the past few months.

One person suspected of being behind one of the most common tags has been arrested after being caught in the act. 

Oliver Chastney who has seen his property off historic Colegate in Norwich repeatedly targeted by taggers

Oliver Chastney who has seen his property off historic Colegate in Norwich repeatedly targeted by taggers despite being repainted. - Credit: Simon Parkin

Oliver Chastney, who lives in St George’s Street, said: “Our end wall is on its third or fourth incidence of being covered in graffiti this year. The latest was last week, less than 24 hours after the council had painted the wall again from the last lot.

“They leave their signature and what I cannot understand is that it should be so easy to catch them doing it yet nothing seems to happen with people being convicted.”

Graffiti and tags on Westwick Street in Norwich.

Graffiti and tags on Westwick Street in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin


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Sgt Chris Clay, of Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team, said concerns had seen tackling "random, mindless scrawl on a wall that takes seconds" made a priority. 

Data of the areas being most targeted has seen increased patrols in Pottergate, St Benedict's, Colegate, St George’s Street and Friars Quay.

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He said: “We see certain names recurring over and over again. One person has been arrested. The tag we caught him in the act of is one that you see across a lot of the city and that investigation is ongoing. Another caught through plain clothes patrols has been dealt with by out of court means.

Sgt Chris Clay, area sergeant for Norwich East Police, on patrol in Norwich city centre. Picture: Da

Sgt Chris Clay, area sergeant for Norwich East Police, on patrol in Norwich city centre. - Credit: Danielle Booden

“But I would encourage people whose property has been targeted to come forward and report it to allow us to take make convictions or take other action.”

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “Like many cities across the country, Norwich has unfortunately seen a rise in tagging during the latest lockdown, as well as more graffiti on private buildings.

“We are going to be working with Norwich BID to remove the tagging and do a general tidy in the city, but when graffiti is on private property, we need to establish ownership and get permissions or look to use legislation in order to remove it. This generally takes longer.

Graffiti and tags at Friars Quay in Norwich.

Graffiti and tags at Friars Quay in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

“Graffiti should be reported using the online form on the city council’s website – offensive and hate-related graffiti will be removed from public property within 24 hours.”

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