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Graffiti blight on estate


By Peter Harris


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Graffiti is blighting a Newark housing estate and youths from other parts of town are being blamed.

The problems occur near the Meering Avenue shops on the Winthorpe Road estate.

The doorway of one shop that has been empty for some time is covered in graffiti. There are messages and scrawled pictures, some of which are offensive.

Sergeant Tim Burch of Newark police said: “Police officers and community support officers work in and around the Winthorpe Road estate as part of the Safer Neighbourhood Team agenda.

“In recent weeks concerns about anti-social behaviour, drugs and graffiti have been raised by residents and businesses in the area, and officers are investigating these matters.

Information

“The team, along with response officers, continually works to make the area as crime-free and safe as possible and will respond to the concerns of residents as and when they arise.

“I would urge anyone who has information regarding criminal activity in and around the estate to either contact Newark police or call Crimestoppers.”

The district councillor for the area, Mrs Gill Dawn, said: “Winthorpe Road was relatively quiet for some years then, all of a sudden, gangs of youths are appearing and they are not local.

“For some reason the area now seems very attractive to the kids and trouble is starting.

“We can have 40 to 50 kids at the Meering Avenue shops at night and that’s when the graffiti starts. They are a nuisance.”

The housing director with Newark and Sherwood Homes, which manages the council homes stock, Mr Fin McElhinney, said it would investigate the allegations.

He said offensive graffiti was cleaned within 24 hours of it being reported and some had been cleaned from the Meering Avenue shops.

“We will keep tackling it but it is the underlying issues of why it is happening that we must address with our partners,” he said.

Daubed

“Whether that is the availability of drink and cannabis, we will find out.”

An estate resident, Mrs Julie Andrews, said graffiti had been daubed on her boundary wall.

Mrs Andrews, who has lived on Fleming Drive for 13 years, said the electricity sub-station next to her home was covered in spray-painted messages and the playground nearby was a regular target.

“I have a 16-year-old boy but we never went through this,” she said.

“It seems that with every generation the problem gets worse. I am sure they would blame boredom.

“They should find something constructive to do.”


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