#NameThatTag: New bid to catch county graffiti artists

PCSO Phil Wane by some graffiti in Wellingborough
PCSO Phil Wane by some graffiti in Wellingborough

People are being urged to #NameThatTag and help police identify those responsible for graffiti across the county through a new website.

The #NameThatTag webpage, which is part of the force’s graffiti campaign Operation Illustration, will feature five of the most prominent graffiti tags countywide and will be updated on a regular basis.

With a simple click, anyone with information about who is responsible for a graffiti tag can contact police who will collate the information.

Safer Community Teams (SCTs) across the county are pooling the information to tackle the issue which is associated with anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

Graffiti often occurs on a large scale in areas which are neglected and not properly cared for, raising the perception of increasing anti-social behaviour and criminality within the communities affected.

PCSO Phil Wane of Wellingborough SCT, who is spearheading the campaign, hopes to get the graffiti message through with a mix of education and enforcement.

And he hopes community safety partnerships across the county will join with police to clean up affected areas and make them better and safer places to live and work.

He said: “There is almost an acceptance that graffiti is a way of life, that it won’t go away and that there is little point addressing the problem.

“With that comes a clear impression that nobody cares.

“We have to change this mindset and work together to bring about improvements.

“We are raising awareness of the whole issue with young people in schools.

“But our webpage will enable people to play a direct part in helping bring prolific offenders to justice.”

PCSO Wane added: “Crimestoppers has also joined the campaign.

“It’s about people taking responsibility for the areas that they are concerned about and helping us to track down the offenders.

“And we will also be taking the campaign onto Facebook and Twitter to ensure we reach as many different audiences as possible.

“This is as much about education as it is enforcement. P

“rolific graffiti writers who cause criminal damage need to know there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

“But wherever possible we want to encourage local authorities and schools to provide appropriate facilities to encourage those who have artistic talent to fully express themselves.”

The webpage can be accessed by going to www.northants.police.uk/NameThatTag www.northants.police.uk/Illustration.