‘Freak’ tagger sought following Hitchin graffiti spate

A SPATE of graffiti has hit a town, leaving residents up in arms and police vowing to take action.

An anonymous tagger has been targeting both private and public property across the Purwell area of Hitchin, and towards the town centre.

Spraying the word ‘freak’ across the area, the vandals have been criticised for committing the criminal offence.

It follows a surge of graffiti in Walsworth, as reported by the Comet last month.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This immature child needs to be found and reported to the police.

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“We need to find this loser and get the court to force them to clean up everything they have tried to destroy.”

The incidents have been reported to North Herts District Council (NHDC) and Herts Police.

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Police are carrying out additional patrols in the area, and are also reviewing CCTV.

It is believed that more than one person could be involved.

Andy Godman, North Herts District Council’s head of housing and public protection, said: “We are working closely with other agencies like the police to address the recent increase in graffiti in Hitchin.

“It is taxpayers in North Herts who pick up the cost of graffiti removal. This is money that could be better spent elsewhere, particularly in today’s financial climate. Graffiti is an eyesore and is particularly unpleasant for the local community who live or work in the area.”

Inspector Martin Turpin of the North Herts Safer Neighbourhoods Team added: “Vandalising property that does not belong to you is a criminal offence and we are working hard to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”

Several of the properties targeted have belonged to North Hertfordshire Homes.

The social landlord’s anti-social behaviour officer, Mark Ferrari, said: “Graffiti brings down the image of estates and it impacts on the people who live on them.

“We want to work together with the wider community to take positive action and stop this senseless vandalism by a small group of people.”

Anyone who provides information which leads to a successful conviction will be entitled to a monetary reward.

If you can help, call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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