February Column: PC Lisa Hawtin

Published on: 07 Feb 2013

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February Column: PC Lisa Hawtin

The blight of graffiti has become a problem in our town centre. Banksy it is not – criminal damage it certainly is. It is clear this is not street art as the culprits practice their tags, creating an eyesore in the process. PC Lisa Hawtin

I haven’t highlighted this issue until now as sometimes that is exactly what those responsible want. But if convicted of criminal damage they could face up to three months in prison and/or a fine.

Rather than prosecuting young people, I want to work with them and the town council towards an agreement where graffiti tags can be displayed without causing damage.

In the meantime, if it continues around the town then we will put more resources into prosecuting those who are responsible. Any information that anyone might have should be passed on to me or my team.

On another subject, we have realised that beat surgeries are not being used to their full effect. This is where myself or the PCSOs for the area will sit at a high-profile location such as the Baptist Church on the High Street for anyone to come in and talk to us about local issues or needs.

We need to know what we can do to make the surgeries more effective – are we doing enough to make people aware the surgeries are there? Do we need to use new locations at different times? We are open to suggestions.

I will be available at the next beat surgery on Saturday, February 23, from 2pm at the Baptist Church on the High Street, where I will be happy to hear your thoughts and also your views on the regular PACT meetings. I hope to see you there.

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