The city council is appealing for the public’s help in tracking down a gang of vandals responsible for a spate of graffiti blighting Canterbury.
It is asking members of the public to call 999 if they witness vandalism taking place so that police can work with the authority’s CCTV control to identify the culprits.
Doug Rattray, the council’s head of safer Neighbourhoods, says anyone with information about those responsible can also call the non-emergency 101 number.
“This particular group of offenders have a lot of tricks up their sleeve to evade detection so we really need the public’s help,” Mr Rattray said.
Earlier this year the council released footage of a number of road signs being tagged. The total time taken by the vandal for each incident was less than seven seconds.
The council has also set up a new online graffiti reporting system that allows people to attach photographs, use their smartphones to give an exact location or drop a pin on a map.
Cllr Neil Baker, the council’s communities chairman, says the system will allow the authority to prevent and reduce graffiti.
“Daubing paint on property without the owner’s permission is a wanton act of vandalism and is a criminal offence,” Cllr Baker said.
“We’re making it much easier to report the problem, particularly to organisations that can be hard to get in touch with.
“Graffiti is not a victimless crime. These scrawls are costing the council taxpayer money to remove and causing distress to innocent residents and business owners who have been targeted.
“Working closely with others is also starting to pay real dividends. We have a close relationship with Kent Police and the county council, and recently worked with KCC to clean graffiti off their road signs and other property that belongs to them.”
To report graffiti, log on to the dedicated council webpage.