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Police help wanted in fight over graffiti and vandals
Notices from the police are needed to prevent vandalism and graffiti in the area, claims Cumnor Parish Council.
Vandals have been spraying graffiti in the area and smashing panels of glass in bus stops, and councillors say more needs to be done to prevent the damage.
They have called on Thame Valley Police’s Crime Reduction Team for signs on lampposts and walls to remind people being caught causing criminal damage means you will have a criminal record, which can cause problems with job applications and travelling abroad.
Cumnor Parish Council chairman Brian Stops said: “They could put those up to draw attention to vandalism. If there’s anything you can do you should have a go at it.”
He said in the last week two bus stops had been damaged at the same time – one on Cumnor Hill and another outside Matthew Arnold School.
The damage was found at 6am by another councillor and took four hours to clear up because of the shattered glass.
Mr Stops said: “It’s costing about £2,000 to get them repaired. The community pays for it in the end with taxes.
“The problem is that it’s something we have to deal with on the spur of the moment.
“It’s very, very expensive trying to replace everything as quickly as we can.”
He said: “Having lumps of cardboard up instead – apart from looking terrible – makes it look like we’re giving in.
“We obviously take care when we replace things, we could get plastic but it makes graffiti very difficult to clean off because it stains. People ask why we don’t put the old metal sheets back in but it looks like a French toilet then.”
Graffiti is also a growing problem in the area, with scribblings appearing on Eynsham Road.
Mr Stops said: “With graffiti it’s difficult because it happens in one place and then it works its way out from there. It’s a rash that happens.
“It’s a problem that none of us know how to tackle. It’s very upsetting.
“It’s very difficult to know what to do. It can happen anywhere.”
Oxford City Council no longer clears away graffiti, unless it is racist or offensive, due to budget cuts. Fellow councillor Peter Bowell, brought the subject up at the council’s meeting on Monday, June 2.
He said: “I’d like to see it come to an end and see those who are caught have a criminal record.
“The signs might not be a deterrent, but if we stop one attack it’s good for the community.”
Anyone who has information about the attacks should call the police on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111.