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Police close to breakthrough in tracing Winchester graffiti vandals
IT IS a crimewave that has made the vandals behind it Winchester's public enemy number one.
In just one night the graffiti vandals struck 38 times in a spate of “mindless damage”.
Shop fronts, walls, homes, phone boxes and bins were among the targets daubed with the tags ‘BT’ and ‘BT Krew’.
Winchester city centre has been plagued by graffiti for almost a year, but now police think they may have a breakthrough.
Officers have released CCTV footage of two people they want to interview in connection with the last spate.
Police Community Safety Officer Helen Carthew said: “Winchester city centre has been plagued by a graffiti tagging campaign since July last year but this was a particularly prolific spate.
“The tags have nothing artistic about them, simply reading ‘BT’ or ‘BT KREW’. The cost to the taxpayer of cleaning this damage is mounting.”
She added: “Those responsible on this occasion tagged bins, phone boxes and shops in the city centre, right under the CCTV cameras.
“With several new leads, we are getting closer to catching those responsible.”
Catherine Turness, projects manager for Winchester business Improvement District, said: “The BID has a zero tolerance approach to graffiti, fly posting and other acts of vandalism and as such is funding a contractor to tend to the removal of tags on BID premises across the city.”
The BID has about 800 members, all of whom pay a levy on their Business rates to fund city centre improvements. Its regular duties include chewing gum and graffiti removal.
The two people captured on camera include a white male in his late teens or early 20s of medium height and slight build.
He was wearing beige trousers, trainers, and a distinctive navy-coloured Jack Wills hoodie with a white circular motif on the back and JW on the front left.
The second person is a white female in her late teens to early 20s of slim to medium build, wearing dark clothing.
The latest spate comes four years after the word ‘Nemew’ was daubed on about 35 Winchester buildings in one night using emulsion paint.
Call North Walls police station on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers Line on 0800 555 111 if you think you can help.