POLICE in Bromsgrove are appealing to combat hundreds of graffiti tags which have appeared across the district.

The issue was brought to a head by concerned residents at a St John’s PACT meeting earlier in the month, and Pc Anna Harding from the St John’s Safer Neighbourhood Team indicated that although only one offender was likely to be responsible for an initial wave of graffiti which appeared across an area spreading from Rock Hill to the town centre last November, they weren’t thought to be in the area any longer, and therefore were unlikely to be behind the current spate.

Unfortunately several other ‘taggers’ have continued to deface the sides of homes and businesses, phone boxes, bus stops and other property across the district, some of the ‘tags’ reappearing on buildings only hours after being removed.

Residents raised the issue at the recent PACT meeting, and police are now treating it as a priority, with the intention of identifying those responsible.

PC Harding said: “Sometimes the tags are in spray paint, sometimes in marker pen but the thing they have in common is that they are unsightly and expensive to remove. It is criminal damage and we will take strong action against those responsible. While it is only a small minority involved in this it is having a big impact and making the place look horrible.

“We have taken pictures of the graffiti into local colleges and schools to raise the issue and try to identify the taggers and we are now appealing to the wider public to give us information and to contact us immediately if they see anyone doing this."

Helen Jones district councillor for Catshill has helped to bring the issue to the attention of local police through PACT meetings.

She added: “It started in Catshill some time ago. They destroyed one of the play parks, it was absolutely vile the stuff they put there.

"It just makes the area look horrible doesn’t it, and the amount it’s costing the local authority, the type of paint they’re using can’t be removed easily, it needs to be the industrial stuff. It’s not fair to everyone, all our council tax will have to go up if it carries on much longer.

“I’m delighted with the response of the police, I just hope that someone must know or suspect who’s responsible. They just need to contact the police so we can put a stop to it.”

Anyone with information regarding the graffiti, can contact Pc Harding and other officers at Bromsgrove Police Station on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers.uk-org.