Thanet District Council is appealing to local residents and traders for help in identifying those responsible for deliberately causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and vandalism.
Public concern over graffiti and mindless vandalism across the Isle has increased in recent years. During the last six years, over £134,000 has been spent cleaning graffiti off public property. This does not even begin to touch the cost of damage to private property where the owner is responsible.
Every piece of graffiti costs the council over £200 a square metre to clean up by either removing or painting over – an average of £22,000 a year which could be better spent on other public services for Thanet residents.
The council remains open to working on street art projects with local artists, in spaces where permission has been given, with careful consideration of the look and impact the installation will have, but this is different. This is the deliberate mindless damage, where there has been no permission, in spaces that may be listed, or on heritage assets at a cost to the owner and taxpayer.
Public appeal for help
The council are appealing to the people of Thanet to work with them and to help track down those responsible for repeatedly blighting the district.
Rob Kenyon, Director of Community Services and responsible for the regeneration and development of the district, said:
‘’So much is currently being done to regenerate this area. It’s an exciting time to be in Thanet with an 84% increase in creative sector business, tourism at 10 times the national average and named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the best places to live in in the UK. Regrettably we still need to waste resources repairing the damage caused by a mindless few who seemingly don’t care.
“We know these people are spray painting brazenly, often in broad daylight. Someone out there knows who is responsible for this criminal damage. They will see the same tags at their home address, on their belongings and they will probably post and talk on social media to try and gain notoriety and status for the damage they have caused.
“If you care about where we live, the way that our built environment and open spaces look, and if you are sick of seeing graffiti-ridden car parks and public places, then please help the council to identify these offenders.
“If you know who is responsible please say something and don’t be complicit in these offences. We want to prosecute those guilty of damaging property in Thanet, recover clean up and repair costs and take a stand to show that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.’’
If you have information on graffiti or for general advice, please contact Thanet District Council’s Community Safety Team direct on 01843 577903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All information will be treated in confidence and can be reported anonymously.