FENLAND: Police and Trading Standards to do spray paint test purchases in graffiti battle
POLICE and Trading Standards are to carry out test purchases across Fenland to make sure spray paints are not being sold to children. It comes as police step up their county-wide campaign against graffiti vandals who cause hundreds of thousands of pounds
POLICE and Trading Standards are to carry out test purchases across Fenland to make sure spray paints are not being sold to children.
It comes as police step up their county-wide campaign against graffiti vandals who cause hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage every year.
Officers will also use stop and search powers to confiscate spray paints from anyone who is under 16.
Chief Insp Russell Waterston said: "Graffiti is often raised by residents as a priority at neighbourhood panel meetings and is something we are taking seriously.
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"We are working closely with our council partners to make sure the problem is being addressed.
"Graffiti can lead to an increased fear of crime as people feel there is criminal activity going on in the area."
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It is illegal for a business to sell aerosol paint to anyone under 16.
Police treat the vandalism - which involves words, pictures and names (also known as tags) being drawn or scratched on various structures - as criminal damage.
Offenders are brought before the courts, but prosecutions can be difficult and police require the public's help to bring successful convictions.
• Anyone with information on who is committing offences should contact police on 0345 456 4564, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.