Businesses back appeal to track Leicester tag vandals
Businesses which have been targeted by prolific graffiti vandals have backed a campaign to track down the culprits by offering a reward for information.
The tags – Kase and SO 12 – have appeared at more than 2,500 locations in the past few months and removing them has cost Leicester City Council and businesses tens of thousands of pounds.
Businesses and groups who have been targeted by the vandals urged "public spirited" people to pass on the vandals' names.
The council is offering a reward of £500 for information which leads to the taggers' arrest and conviction.
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Atin Patel, owner of Howitts pharmacy in Saffron Lane, said: "We are moving to a location in Saffron Lane and we've had both Kase and SO 12 sprayed on to the security shutters at the new shop.
"The shutters cost us £10,000 to £15,000 and the graffiti appeared as soon as we put them in. It was very annoying and inconvenient.
"I told the police and the city council about it and they came and did a demonstration with a graffiti removal kit and that got rid of them.
"We've had no more problems in the past few weeks.
"But these people will do it again if they are not caught."
Age UK had to take one of its minibuses off the road for two weeks in November after the Kase tag was sprayed on to the vehicle while it was parked in Yeoman Street, in the city centre.
Adrian Wilkinson, transport manager for the charity, said: "It is a good idea for the council to offer a reward – hopefully public spirited people will respond.
"The minibus was off the road for two weeks and we had to bring in a replacement. The vehicles are used to pick people up and take them to our day centres, so it was very inconvenient.
"I'm not sure of the exact cost of removing it but it was a substantial sum.
"The people who did this to our vehicle had no thought for the ramifications of what they did and I hope the council's appeal is successful."
Jennifer Chase, owner of Hair and Booty salon in Market Place, Leicester city centre, said the Kase tag was sprayed on her business a few weeks ago.
She said: "It was on one of our windows which we had to replace anyway, but when I saw it I was so upset.
"We are in a five-storey listed building which is about 500 years old but they didn't respect that and sprayed this thing on anyway."
By yesterday afternoon, four people had contacted the council with information.
Launching the appeal yesterday, assistant city mayor, Councillor Sarah Russell said: "In the past, we have shied away from offering rewards for information.
"But given the scale and cost of this problem we feel we have to try something new to encourage people to come forward with information.
"Hopefully, it will work and we will get the information we need to secure convictions."
Anyone with information about the people responsible for either of the two tags should contact Leicester City Council's city wardens team on 0116 252 6430.
All calls can be treated as confidential.
Names and other details can also be e-mailed to: