A Portadown councillor has hit out at the increase in “horrendous” graffiti in the town centre.
The DUP’s Kyle Moutray says that, although ABC Council has spent “literally tens of thousands of pounds” of ratepayers’ money in cleaning graffiti in the council area in recent years, the problem has got worse.
Meadow Lane and Hoy’s Meadow are particularly bad areas, with prominent and sometimes obscene graffiti also displayed in the town centre and on bus shelters.
Councillor Moutray says that the graffiti seems to be motivated by “pure badness” with bus shelters across the area “just destroyed” by graffiti.
One such case beside Toymaster on the High Street depicts a graphic image and offensive language. This graffiti is currently being actioned by the PCSP.
He says that the problem seems to have escalated in recent months and the quantity of the graffiti has left council clean-up operations stretched thin.
He explained: “I spoke recently with building maintenance in the council and they’re actioning a few road signs that have been sprayed over.
“They only have the resources to action so many and there’s a big waiting list. There’s just so much at the minute that they have to prioritise offensive or racist language.”
He adds that the PSNI need to adopt a more robust approach to dealing with the issue, suggesting that an action plan be produced between police and council in terms of tackling graffiti going forward.
He said: “Last summer the police identified at least nine individuals responsible for graffiti in Portadown and Lurgan following a public appeal, but we have seen a re-emergence since then.
“It’s disappointing that this is where council money has to be allocated. Shoppers coming to Portadown get off the bus and are met by graffiti at the bus shelters. I’m worried about the implications at a time when businesses already have it tough in the town.
“I am continuing to report each piece of graffiti to the council for clean up, and I will be liaising with the PSNI to ensure every effort is being made to apprehend those responsible.”