Police and Council target graffiti offenders
A man writing graffiti was caught red-handed on Friday (8/12) at the public toilets in Welch Way, Witney.
The man was spotted by a council contractor who had arrived to clean up previous graffiti at the location. The employee immediately contacted the police and the offender was apprehended and arrested for criminal damage. The man was later released with a caution which will remain on his record.
Criminal damage is a priority for the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership, it amounts to 40% of all reported crime in the area. During the last few months officers from the Council have been working with the police to tackle the problem. Criminal damage in the district is down 3% in the last three months compared to the previous three month period.
Sgt Scott Evans, Police Neighbourhood Manager said: "Damage to public toilets not only costs council tax payers money but it also increases the fear of crime. I would like to send a warning to individuals who act anti-socially in public places - we're now working closely with Council colleagues, targeting locations, times when offences are being committed and individuals we believe are responsible. Police and Council officers are often in plain clothes. You've been warned."
Councillor David Harvey, Cabinet member with responsibility for Environmental Services at West Oxfordshire District Council said: "Graffiti is ugly and spoils the environment for everyone. I am delighted that an offender has been caught. I urge anyone who witnesses a graffiti vandal in action, or has any evidence, to contact police. In Witney we have a framework of CCTV cameras that can be used to track suspects."
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