Artwork installed in Thetford underpass to stop graffiti problems is vandalised
- Credit: Archant
Artwork created by young people displayed in a town's underpass to help stop problems with graffiti have been vandalised.
The eight eye-catching panels were installed in Thetford in March after students from Thetford Academy and Catch22 teamed up with Norfolk Youth Offending Team and Thetford Police Cadets.
Created by 12 to 18-year-olds the colourful boards were designed to brighten the underpass near Thetford Priory and help stop graffiti appearing in other areas.
However numerous instances of vandalism have occurred and Breckland police have taken the decision to remove the boards for repair works.
Chief Inspector Paul Wheatley said: 'It is just a shame. We try to do something nice and a small minority want to spoil it for others.
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'It's annoying. I live and work in the town and this was something nice for Thetford.'
The boards have been keyed, paint ripped off and offensive words written.
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The young people who created the panels had spent hours researching information and history about the town.
The initiative was one of a number of community policing projects supported through the police and crime commissioner Lorne Green's early intervention fund.
But Chf Insp Wheatley has said he hopes the panels will be put back within the next month once they have been repaired, repainted and a protective layer added.
He also said he hopes the initiative could be expanded to other areas of Thetford and to other towns.
'A police officer didn't paint these it was kids who did them. All too often young people get criticised and there are so many good kids out there. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
'This was always going to be a trial to see how it goes. I would like to see it expand and would appeal to local businesses and organisations to help us with that.'
Speaking about the project in March Mr Green said it was really positive and he was delighted to be backing it. Chf Insp Wheatley said Mr Green has been contacted and is keen for the boards to be displayed again.
If you have anything information about the underpass artwork being vandalised, call Norfolk police on 101.