Monday, 3 October 2011

Council acts on recreation ground graffiti

Palatine Recreation Ground from Rutland Avenue. Image: Google Maps

Lancaster City Council has re-iterated its policy on racist graffiti after concerns from Scotforth residents about vandalism around the Palatine Recreation Ground - and there's some good news about improvements on their way for the area.

"There's a growing problem of large racist graffiti being daubed on buildings and walls," one Scotforth resident, who did not wish to be named, told virtual-lancaster.

"The playground, tennis and basketball courts and now the bowling green off Rutland Avenue are regularly covered in swastikas and large anti-ethnic group messages.

"After a few days the council paint it over (leaving the text and insignia still clearly visible underneath).

"It's hugely intimidating - what are the Council and police doing about this? Are they waiting until someone is physically hurt?"

Palatine Recreation Ground from Durham Avenue
"Lancaster City Council takes racist and abusive graffiti very seriously and liaises with the police authority if graffiti of this nature appears to be a recurring problem in any one area," the Council told us.

The Council's policy for the removal of offensive graffiti such as this is that it is removed within 24 hours of being reported.

"However, we are not aware of a current problem in this area but will inspect the Palatine Recreation Ground and surrounding area as a matter of urgency and liaise with the police authority if necessary."

Acknowledging what one person called the "shocking state" of the grounds, arguing the graffiti must put off people, the Council tells us refurbishment is on the cards, noting the playground and basket ball court continue still a very popular community facility, used by many.

"Following a consultation with regular visitors to the play area, a budget of £12,000 has been set aside for the provision of new equipment," we're told. This will include new benches and bins, which will be installed in this financial year.


David D said...

Thank goodness someone is doing something about this. I no longer take my children to this playground because it's in such a state, and the vandalism and graffiti are heartbreaking. I hope the council work hard to fix this soon. I'm sure if it was better looked after there would be less graffiti - it's been a vicious cycle that the council have done nothing to fix so far.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully once they've inspected the area it will be clear that something does need to be done, ideally with the involvement of the police e.g. foot patrols, monitoring, school visits perhaps. I think they should also look at better ways to remove the graffiti. I think high pressure water is used in some areas - simply adding a layer of paint over the top doesn't work - you can see through the paint.

It's also good news that new equipment will be installed - this can't happen soon enough. Children in the area really do get downhearted by the state of the current facilities.