The Newport area of town has seen a number of tags left on walls, utility substations and in bus shelters. There is an obligation for racist and offensive graffiti to be removed. However, the onus for removing most cases of graffiti is on the land or property owner. The message from district and county councillor John Mathews and Barnstaple PCSO Ron Gibson, is that the criminal damage needs to be reported as soon as possible to increase the chance of catching offenders. Its broken window theory, if we have a broken window and it doesnt get replaced or sorted, you get more of them. One tag leads on to another, said PCSO Gibson. If people take weeks to report it there is less chance of us catching the offender, so its really important it gets reported as soon as possible. We are in the community but we dont see everything so we rely on our community to tell us whats going on and report it. Councillor Mathews said the graffiti did not reflect well on Barnstaple, and encouraged land and property owners to help by removing the vandalism. It doesnt do the town any good, he said. People drive in to town and they see this what kind of welcome to Barnstaple is that? This is the main road in from the link road and its all over town. It doesnt take much to get rid of it, and there are ways the more artistic work can be done properly, but this really needs sorting out. Its getting ridiculous its criminal damage. PCSO Gibson added: We cant tell someone to remove graffiti on their site its down to the land or property owner. But it is criminal damage. We want people to report it early, and once its been reported we would like property owners to remove it. Members of the public can report graffiti to police by calling 101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and quoting enquiry number en/003216/18.