Town clean-up operation

Police officers have joined forces with Wellingborough Council and the Probation Trust to give take part in a clean-up operation this week.

Between Tuesday, October 16, and Friday, October 19, the organisations will team up to remove graffiti, clear flytipping, paint underpasses and litter pick streets and parks.

The clean up has come in response to residents’ concerns about graffiti around the town, particularly on private houses and in underpasses. The police and the probation trust met with the council to come up with a way to tackle the issue by working together, and then expanded the project to include removal of flytipping and litter as well.

The week of action kicked off on Tuesday morning at 8.30am in Castle ward’s Newcomen Road, with graffiti being removed from nine private houses in the area by the council’s environmental services company Wellingborough Norse. At the same time, offenders on the Community Payback scheme started painting over graffiti in 12 underpasses around the town.

The work will continue into Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the addition of skips hired by the police and Wellingborough Homes being filled with flytipping. Litter will be removed from the town’s streets and parks as well, with a community litter pick organised for Wednesday at 11am, starting from Knox Court/Palk Road, and another on Thursday at 11am starting from Diana House on Queensway. Members of the public are invited to join the litter picks.

Cllr Peter Morrall, chairman of Wellingborough Council’s community committee, said: “Graffiti is a real concern for our residents and it’s essential we pool our resources, expertise and equipment so that we can tackle the problem effectively. In these cash-strapped times it’s difficult for one organisation to sort it out completely by themselves.

“The council has the equipment needed to remove graffiti but employees have to fit the work in around numerous other duties, whereas the probation service can find the people needed to carry out the work through its Community Payback scheme, but doesn’t have the equipment. For private houses, we need to get the owner to sign an indemnity form before any work can be carried out to remove the graffiti, but we often have difficulty speaking to the householder. The

Police can use their Key Individuals Networks to help gain the permission of property owners.

“When we team up like this we get the best possible value-for-money results for our residents and can do so much more.”