‘Pathetic’ vandals targeting Hitchin with graffiti

A TOWN is being targeted by “pathetic” vandals, who have been scrawling graffiti in public places and people’s property.

The Walsworth area of Hitchin has seen a surge in graffiti over the past few weeks.

Those responsible have been targeting road signs, walls and houses.

Cllr Alan Millard said: “I think it’s very sad that a nice area like Walsworth which is normally very clean and tidy is being vandalised by a few sad and pathetic people.

“It costs the community a lot of money to clean up, and I hope they will desist from doing it in the future.”

The incidents have been reported to North Herts District Council, which said it would be cleaning some of the graffiti.

But in many instances where private property has been targeted, it has no power to clear the it.

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Cllr Peter Burt, portfolio holder for environment, said: “This particular graffiti is on private or commercial property and we cannot remove it without permission from the owner and in some cases, unfortunately, we don’t have the authority to remove it all. For the areas we can clean, we are currently obtaining the written permissions needed – a single indemnity form – in order to go ahead.

“As far as the graffiti on the underpass is concerned, we are responsible for cleaning this on behalf of Herts County Council and yesterday we received confirmation that we can go ahead. This work will be carried out over the next fortnight.”

He added: “We maintain a database of graffiti incidents and share them with other agencies like Hertfordshire Police, so that we can work together to tackle this kind of antisocial behaviour which we take very seriously.”

Anyone concerned about graffiti can contact the council directly by phoning 01462 474635 or the customer service centre on 01462 474000.