Home Latest news Action will be taken to tackle criminal damage

Action will be taken to tackle criminal damage

by Jonathan Kearney

People who carry out criminal damage in Knowsley could face a fine or even imprisonment.

In recent weeks there has been a spate of graffiti in Huyton Village Centre, which is having a detrimental impact on the local community.

The graffiti has cost Knowsley Council thousands of pounds to remove, diverting valuable resources from the Council’s budget.

There has been an ongoing programme of improvement works in Huyton Village Centre over the last few years, notably the shop front improvement scheme which has so far seen 14 properties benefitting from contemporary makeovers. This has helped attract more businesses into Huyton Village Centre, including a burgeoning food and drink offer.

These improvements are being delivered for the benefit of the local community, as well as attracting visitors into Huyton, yet a small minority are intent on spoiling this for others.

Graffiti is an offence under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and can lead to a fine or significant custodial sentence.

Knowsley Council also has the power to issue fixed penalty notices for offences of graffiti.

CCTV

Knowsley Council has installed more than 1,000 cameras across our town centres and the wider borough that are monitored 24/7 by the Council’s central control room.

The control room has direct access to Merseyside Police’s Control Room and this means that the police can be immediately notified of any incidents of criminal activity and anti-social behaviour occurring and police patrols can be deployed accordingly.

Knowsley Local Policing Inspector, Christopher Ruane, said: “Defacing property in this way obviously shouldn’t, and won’t, be tolerated. It’s a selfish thing to do. People are rightly proud of the area they live in – Huyton Village is a special place to a lot of the residents, and it’s genuinely upsetting for them to see graffiti dragging it down.

“We’ll be investigating these incidents and working closely with the council to ensure the individual or individuals responsible are held to account. This is a public, shared space, and whatever the motivation is for defacing it, you don’t get to repeatedly ruin what doesn’t belong to you without there being consequences.”

How to report

If you know someone who is carrying out graffiti in Knowsley you can report it to Merseyside Police via 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with Knowsley’s Crime and Communities team via safer.knowsley@knowsley.gov.uk