A COUNCIL has described recurring graffiti on a tunnel to the South Downs as “disappointing, depressing and disrespectful”.
Independent Councilman Peter Atkinson has repeatedly approached National Highways to paint over the markings in Mile Oak’s Ridge Close underpass, but said the wall was covered in graffiti within a day of the work being completed.
Cllr Atkinson said: “This is just senseless and moronic damage to public property. It gives the impression that locals don’t care about their local environment, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Residents who have contacted me are angry and upset that their neighborhoods are being destroyed in this way.”
Cllr Atkinson has called for additional police patrols in the area to prevent vandalism.
“I don’t want to particularly criminalize young people, but this has to stop,” he said.
“It’s pointless and very distressing for people and also symptomatic of other types of antisocial behavior that’s happening in this tunnel.”
A police spokesman said patrols around the tunnel in North Portslade had been stepped up as a result.
He said: “Tackling the problem is a key focus for the department, with a dedicated graffiti leader within the department’s neighborhood policing team.
“These officers are working with the community to gather information that will allow us to identify the areas most affected by graffiti to ensure our resources are used in the most effective way.
“We are also working closely with our community partners to share information and highlight repeat offenders who can be prosecuted and brought to justice.
“As a department, we will support the Council’s upcoming year-long program of targeted actions.”
Police are encouraging the public to report crimes or concerns in their area through the Sussex Police website, by calling 101 or in an emergency by calling 999.
A spokeswoman for National Highways said: “We do not actively remove graffiti as soon as it appears as it is an ongoing attempt to remove it and will periodically reappear shortly after removal.
“However, the Ridge Close Underpass bridge has been defaced and damaged several times, which we have painted over.
“We understand how disappointing this is for the local community and we urge people not to engage in vandalism, but as we are not an enforcement agency we cannot stop the perpetrators directly.
“We are currently evaluating other options to prevent the problem and we will continue to share information and work with Sussex Police to address social issues related to graffiti.
“We prioritize graffiti deemed offensive and remove it within 24 hours.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22439908.hove-councillor-slams-repeated-graffiti-south-downs-tunnel/?ref=rss Hove City Council repeatedly slams graffiti on the South Downs tunnel