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Police and council officers work with graffiti artist who pledges to turn over new leaf

October 16, 2020
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Officers from Nottinghamshire Police and Newark and Sherwood District Council joined a convicted graffiti artist in cleaning up the streets.

The Newark man committed criminal damage at a dozen different locations between Balderton and Newark town centre on Thursday 6 August.

He was identified in a CCTV appeal and admitted the offences.

The 29-year-old was given a conditional caution which required him to send a letter of apology to those whose property he damaged and he also spent a day with the Newark and Sherwood Street cleaning team on Tuesday (13 October).

He was dealt with by an out of court disposal and received a conviction for criminal damage and said: "I recognise now why the graffiti work was not well received by the local community and I am truly sorry to all the people affected by my actions.

"Taking the time to conduct the cleaning operation, gave me the opportunity to really think about the impact graffiti and criminal damage has on others.

"It's been nice to put something back into the town and this is something I would like to build on going forward. I hope to find a venture where I can continue to be a positive influence and also express myself creatively and for it to be an emotional release for me."

Police Constable Graham Whitehead, who investigated the incidents, said: “I know the negative impact which these types of crimes can have on the community here in Newark.

“Thanks to the diligent work of officers piecing together CCTV, this man has been held to account and now recognises the consequences of what he did.

“By working with our partners at Newark and Sherwood District Council, we were able to identify all of the relevant graffiti around Newark and support the victims of the damage.

“He has told us that he is truly sorry to all the people who had been affected by his actions, so I hope he will think twice in future and find a legal outlet for his hobby.”

Councillor David Lloyd, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “The vast majority of the people of Newark and Sherwood take great pride in our towns and villages and as a council we invest significant resources in striving to maintain a clean and safe environment.

“Illegal graffiti creates eyesores in our streets and neighbourhoods but every pound spent on getting rid of graffiti in the district is a pound less towards services that have a much wider public benefit.”

However, dealing with such crimes by way of restorative justice can be very impactful for the offenders as it helps them take ownership and do something positive. We’re really pleased the young man acknowledged and showed remorse for his actions but most importantly was willing to work with us, reintegrating into the community that he caused harm to.”

(Pictured: Newark Police Constable Graham Whitehead, Community Protection Officer Lauren Astle and Mark Chick from Newark and Sherwood District Council's Street Cleaning Team).

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