Villagers asked to turn detective to stop Hawkhurst graffiti vandal
RESIDENTS have been asked to turn amateur detective to catch the vandal responsible for a graffiti spree across Hawkhurst.
Plagued by recurring attacks from the spray can-touting lout, the parish council has turned to the community for help and asked anyone who sees the culprit to follow them.
It comes after 25 separate attacks in the village targeting everywhere from sports centres to churches.
Hawkhurst Parish Council chairman Keith Brown warned if residents tolerated this then their front doors could be next.
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He said: "This is a public appeal for help.
"We need people who are willing to watch and even follow and report back what you see."
Addressing residents at the parish council meeting on Monday night, he added: "I am not asking you to stop the person if you catch them doing it, but we do need your help in stopping this real problem."
Mr Brown said the graffiti tags, which have been seen on various buildings including the old methodist chapel, All Saints Church and garages near the sports hall on the King George V playing field, were a blight on Hawkhurst.
"We are trying to maintain this as an attractive community," he said.
"Talk to your friends about it because one day they will paint your front door if you are not careful."
Community warden Nigel Freeman said: "There have been about 25 incidents over the past two or three weeks.
"In a place like Hawkhurst it really stands out."
Mr Brown said graffiti had rarely been seen in Hawkhurst and feared it had developed as a result of bored teenagers after the closure of one youth club in the village.
"It may be these culprits need an alternative activity to keep them occupied. The transferring of youth services from Hawkhurst to Tunbridge Wells is a concern.
"We know there are virtually no late buses back from there to Hawkhurst. How can we urge people to take advantage of the youth services? They can't."
"We are plagued at the moment from one end of the village to the other.
"We need the public's co-operation as we know it's happening but trying to stop them is hard.
"Unless you have eyes out there, this graffiti will not stop.
Police are now investigating the incidents but are no closer to unveiling the mystery mischief-maker.
Anyone who might have seen the graffiti vandal is urged to contact Kent Police on 101 or Hawkhurst Parish Council on 01580 752058.