Graffiti given the brush off

Gary Peel of Nordic Pioneer watched by L to R Cllr David Blades, John Proud, Hambleton District Council and David Wright also of Nordic Pioneer.

Gary Peel of Nordic Pioneer watched by L to R Cllr David Blades, John Proud, Hambleton District Council and David Wright also of Nordic Pioneer.

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A Northallerton underpass blighted by graffiti has been given a new look for the new year.

The subway between the town’s library and the High Street has been treated with specialised paint – which will mean any future ‘art’ will simply wash away.

Officers from Hambleton District Council have worked with their counterparts at North Yorkshire County Council to carry out the work this week.

“The company which runs our very successful apprentice scheme, Nordic Pioneer from Darlington, sent two operatives to paint the underpass,” said Hambleton’s Street Scene Manager, John Proud.

“We have been called repeatedly to remove graffiti from this area so to treat it with a surface these vandals will find hard to deface is great news.”

And local ward district and county councillor David Blades added: “We have had constant complaints about the state of this underpass and the obscene graffiti that has been painted on it. By working together we have managed to get this resolved – and hope the new graffiti resistant surface will act as a deterrent.”

Graffiti is criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Dependent on the value of the damage, maximum penalties can vary but over £5,000 damage the maximum penalty for those aged 18 or over is ten years imprisonment and for those aged 12-17 years the maximum custodial penalty is a detention and training order of up to 24 months. Where the damage is less than £5,000 the maximum sentence is three months imprisonment or a fine of £2,500 for adult offenders. An alternative sanction for minor graffiti offences is the issue of a penalty notice of £80.