Punishment for spray paint culprit

Joseph Bulmer

Graffiti artist made to pay for clean-up at Barnstaple skate park

A GRAFFITI artist caught vandalising a skate park in Barnstaple is now helping to spread the word that graffiti will not be tolerated.

North Devon Council has been working with the police to crack down on recent outbreaks of graffiti at the skate parks in Ilfracombe and Rock Park, Barnstaple.

In a recent case, an offender caught on CCTV in Barnstaple’s Rock skate park has been ordered to pay for the paint to be removed and has posted an apology to other skaters on the skate park’s online forum.

Executive member for culture, Cllr Derrick Spear, said: “The skate communities in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple worked really hard to get their parks off the ground, so it is very disappointing to hear that people have started to vandalise them.

“Unfortunately, this kind of anti-social behaviour is very damaging to the reputation of the skate community and makes it harder to justify new skate facilities in the future. It’s a shame that a thoughtless few are ruining it for everyone.”

Neil Young, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said graffiti on public property was illegal and offenders would be arrested.

“This offender was lucky; rather than face prosecution he will be paying for the area to be cleaned.

“Subsequent offenders caught in the act may not be so lucky. The message is clear – we will not tolerate graffiti or any other form of vandalism.”

The cleaning process to remove graffiti is an expensive and also takes microscopic parts of the skate surface away during cleaning. If this is done repeatedly it reduces the quality of the skate surface.

If anyone sees vandalism taking place at the skate parks they are being urged to call North Devon Council on (01271) 388533, or the police non-emergency number 101.