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[16 MAR 01]  WARWICKSHIRE CONSTABULARY NEWS
Graffiti Fear As Old Buildings Hit By Artists

Historic buildings have been daubed by graffiti artists and police are worried that the vandalism could become an epidemic.

The problem in Atherstone town centre has existed for some time, but officers say recent incidents have escalated.

Two-foot high silver lettering has been sprayed on the Old Station building in Long Street, while the nearby Health Clinic has also been attacked.

The cleaning bill for the damage is likely to run to more than 1,000.

PC Andy Stretton said enough is enough:

We must make it very clear that although the graffiti artists believe this is street art it is criminal damage and a crime.

I appreciate that there is a lot of skill involved and shows a level of artistic talent, but it makes the town look awful and is very distressing for the people who have to have it removed at considerable expense.

PC Stretton said he and his fellow town centre officer, PC Paul Keeling, are hoping to find another canvas for the artists to use.

He said:

We hope to work with the local schools to find out who is doing it and if a facility could be provided where these people could show off their work without committing a crime and making our town look so unsightly.

As with acts of petty vandalism this is a quality of life issue really, and the people of Atherstone deserve better.
 

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CWN / Warwickshire Constabulary / 16 Mar 01
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