CCTV call to combat graffiti
Residents and businesses are calling for CCTV cameras to be installed to combat graffiti and vandalism.
They made the call as city council workers and police joined them in a clean-up in Saffron Lane, Leicester, yesterday.
The businesses have been targeted by gangs leaving tags, including SO12, on shop shutters, doors, walls and advertising boards in Duncan Road.
During the clean-up, city wardens demonstrated kits which are available to groups and can be used to remove graffiti tags from non-porous surfaces.
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Rizwan Jasat, of Saffron Eyecare, who joined the clean-up, said: "I have had a business here since 1996 and vandalism and graffiti has been a continual problem.
"We are a community and we do what we can to keep our businesses looking smart and clean-ups are helpful. But there is a need for CCTV to monitor the activity of the gangs who tag our businesses."
Hair salon manager George Dalzell has lived and worked in the area for 44 years.
He said: "CCTV would help to reduce the graffiti, I am sure.
"I live nearby and I have seen the young people who are doing this and have told them to clear off. I welcome the clean-up, but I am sure they will be back."
Howitts Pharmacy owner Atin Patel has spent nearly £20,000 installing security systems and shutters.
He said: "Our shutters are covered in graffiti. We only installed them in September in advance of the business opening in January.
"Clean-ups are good, but I think more could be done."
Ash Patel, who took over the Farmhouse Bakery six months ago, said: "If we can keep the shops and businesses looking smart it will attract people here to shop.
"I have seen those young people responsible and they do not come from this area. I think CCTV would deter them as they could be identified and action taken against them."
Pcso Diane Stewart, who has worked in the area for eight years, said: "We support initiatives like this. We would urge people who see any incidents of vandalism to contact us by phoning 101."
Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, said of the clean-up: "Events such as this have an immediate impact on the neighbourhood by removing eyesores created by thoughtless vandalism. They also send out a strong message that this is an area that residents take real pride in."
A council spokesman said the tags would be photographed to try to trace the culprits, adding: "We haven't had any requests for CCTV in that area, but now that businesses have brought it up we'll certainly look at what can be done to include the area on our list of camera sites."