Volunteers needed for last two graffiti paint outs in Norwich

A call has been issued for volunteers to attend the last two planned paint-outs in a campaign to rid graffiti from the streets of Norwich.

The Evening News Graffitibusters 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 scores of of volunteers, armed with brushes, to attend paint-out sessions.

Such has been the success of the campaign in cleaning up graffiti-hit areas that paint-outs organised for tomorrow and next Wednesday, will be the last planned events in the city.

Julian Foster, chairman of the city centre's Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) said they were keen for volunteers to attend the paint-outs which take place from 6pm on Castle Meadow, opposite the entrance to Castle Gardens.

He said: 'They will be the last two planned events because we believe we have now either obliterated or cleaned off all the graffiti known to us in the city centre. Any that remains is on property where we have not been able to obtain permission to remove it.

'We're desperate for volunteers though we expect them to be joined by culprits found tagging by the police who have no previous convictions and who, as a matter of restorative justice, have been asked to undertake work to clean other people's graffiti. Several have been involved in this process already and it has been found to be most effective.'

As reported earlier this year graffiti remains a priority for the city centre Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) but long-term they will be looking for residents groups to take over the responsibility of tackling graffiti.

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Mr Foster said: 'We shall be looking to residents' groups to take over from us when it is no longer a designated priority. We shall make paint, brushes and rollers available to them as needed and we are looking for a volunteer project co-ordinator to oversee them.'

Mr Foster said anyone with any information about graffiti in the city centre should contact him in the first instance on 01603 767066 or via julianf.foster@btopenworld.com.

Anyone interested in attending the clean-ups should contact Sgt Peter Sharples at Bethel Street Police Station via 0845 456 4567.

To find out more about the campaign log onto www.eveningnews24.co.uk and click on campaigns.