Vandals scrawled graffiti tags on a crucifix at Leicester church
Vandals scrawled graffiti tags on a crucifix in the grounds of a city church.
The figure outside the Church of St Andrew's, in Jarrom Street, near Leicester Royal Infirmary, was targeted this week.
Two designs – TW3 and, possibly, LGC3 – were written on the figure in what appeared to be black marker pen.
The incident is believed to have happened between Monday, February 18 and Wednesday, February 20.
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The tags have also been found at other locations in the neighbourhood. Canon Barry Naylor, who discovered the damage, said: "I don't believe they have done this from any particular religious perspective.
"The same designs are in other places in the street, so at least it seems we have not been singled out.
"But it has obviously caused a great deal of upset.
"There is a 4ft fence with spiked railings they would have to get over and then the crucifix itself is quite tall.
"So they have gone to some effort to do this.
"I am hoping someone will be able to tell the police who did this. I have told the police that, if possible, I would like to speak to this person or people and explain to them how much they have upset people.
"Another reason people here are so upset is that when I first came to the church the figure on the cross was old and damaged and people in the church raised money to buy a new one.
"It has become quite a focal point and people will sometimes stop in the street and make the sign of the cross in front of it."
Barbara Whitcombe, head of Leicester City Council's city wardens, said: "We believe TW3 is a group's tag
"They may think that what they do is some form of art, but how can defacing a crucifix outside a church be art?
"We have a lot of information about tags across the city and people have passed us a couple of names for who may be responsible for the TW3 tag and we are looking into that."
Pc Tahir Mahmood said: "This is obviously a distressing crime for the church.
"I would appeal to anyone who was in the area between Monday and Wednesday and saw either anyone acting suspiciously or loitering in the area to get in touch.
"I would also like to speak to anyone who has heard anything about the incident, whether it be from friends or heard rumours.
"The smallest piece of information may help."
Leicester City Council is offering a £500 reward for information about the tags Kase and SO 12, which have appeared at more than 2,500 locations since last summer.
Contact Pc Mahmood on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.