April 20, 2024
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By Alex Langridge

After he was caught spray painting a natural landmark, a vandal had to be ordered to remove the paint.

Police patrols in Tunbridge Wells Common saw the 31-year old man spray paint an area near Wellington Rocks.

On June 11, he had taken the train to London from where he lived and was found with several spray cans in a backpack.

He claimed to have been unaware of its local importance and significance to the city, saying that he had spray-painted the graffiti to honor a friend.

As part of a campaign to combat anti-social behavior in the neighborhood, the Londoner was ordered by the police force to remove the yellow paint.

Chief inspector Stuart Paul said that the district commander of Tunbridge Wells was pleased with the response. “While criminal damage is not acceptable, it appears the perpetrator has expressed sincere remorse. After discussing this matter with the managers, he received a conditional warning.”

This required him to finish the repair work on instructions given by a ranger and also write an apology letter.

The police in Tunbridge Wells have been focusing on anti-social behavior over the last year. They are increasing patrols to deter and reduce offences like shop thefts and assaults.

Charge rates for multiple offences have increased. In the period between October of last year and September of this year, 49 criminal charges were filed for damage to property, as opposed to just 27 during the prior corresponding time.

The detection rate of shoplifting offenses increased by 174 from 204.

Chief Inspector Paul said: “Antisocial behavior can lead to theft, assaults and reckless damage to property.”

We are aware that residents and business owners have raised several issues over the last year. Many of these concerns are, we think, related to young offenders. We have worked hard to identify the majority of these individuals and ensure positive, robust actions are taken.

The police cannot solve these issues alone. We are therefore grateful to our partners, including the social services and housing departments, the local councils, the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit, and schools.

Our officers and PCSOs continue to monitor local parks, roads and hotspots for anti-social behavior. We also encourage residents to contact us if they witness any incident. It is important to do this, because it allows us to build an accurate image of the areas where problems may persist.

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