Volunteers needed to help combat graffiti problem

People are urged to get involved in helping to clear up their local community as part of the Evening News' Graffitibusters campaign.

Volunteers are needed to help in the first clean-up which takes place tomorrow from 6pm-9pm at Tombland, near the toilets.

Sgt Pete Sharples, of the City Centre Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: 'We have got the equipment and a number of volunteers on Wednesday evening.

'We have spoken to the people who own the buildings and they are happy for us to do it.

'We are going to continue this work after the date. We are going to try to clean up on Sunday mornings.'

And he warned: 'If the graffiti taggers come back we will paint over it and we will keep painting over it.'

Volunteers are also needed to help on June 22 in Pottergate and on June 26 and July 3.

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Norwich City Council receives between 400 and 500 reports of graffiti a year with the council spending more than �1million a year on cleaning the streets of Norwich, which includes tackling graffiti.

Sgt Sharples added: 'We have a lovely city centre. What want to make people feel happier and more confident to be here in the city centre by tackling the obvious problem.

'We have had a number of offers of volunteers. There are also a number of organisations who want to help. A former Norwich resident, who now lives in King's Lynn, has got in touch because he wants to be part of it.

'The campaign has been received well, I think most people are very supportive of the initiative.'

Julian Foster, chairman of the City Centre Neighbourhoods Team Action Panel (SNAP) said: 'As a result of the campaign last week, I have received my first donation from a resident. A man sent �15 and said he wished that he could help but he wasn't fit enough.

'It's essential that people get involved and volunteer.

'The team tomorrow will be starting at the archway near St Faith's Lane. There is so much graffiti there that we will never finish the job in one evening.'

Have you got a story for the Graffitibusters campaign? Call reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk.