Let’s Be Proud of Bury - The Bury Free Press is launching a campaign to clean up our town after a spate of vandalism blighted the street scene.
A recent slew of graffiti has scarred major areas of our award winning floral town - ‘the jewel in the crown of Suffolk’ - and we want to spearhead a community drive to keep Bury shining.
Our aim is to organise a clean up backed by neighbourhood leaders and community groups in time for the launch of the town’s flagship arts festival next month - and we want to know what you can do to help.
This week the outlook of King’s Road was hit by two large pieces of graffiti. One was scrawled on the wall of a block of flats and the other on a passageway leading to Waitrose supermarket.
In under an hour we found more than 30 pieces of graffiti in locations across the in the town. Examples saw signs rendered unreadable, walls covered in unsightly tags and offensive messages sprayed on houses.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council has said it is not able to remove graffiti from private property - however several voices are calling for more to be done.
Borough Cllr David Nettleton said: “It’s the broken window theory – you see one and do nothing, a week later you have two or three. I just want to stop that from becoming a habit.”
He is particularly keen for the word ‘slut’ to be removed from a wall in Northgate Street. The word is a tag repeated several times in the town.
Bury Town Cllr Patrick Chung has reported several cases of graffiti to the borough council and said he would like to see more done.
Alan Jary, chairman of The Bury Society, said: “I do not think it’s what the majority of people want to see. We need to learn to stamp on it very hard.”
He said the Bury Society will discuss working with other town centre groups to offer a financial reward to encourage people to be vigilant and report criminal damage.
Our Bury St Edmunds offers a free graffiti clean-up service to member businesses.
Chief executive Mark Cordell said: “It’s very subjective – it’s art to some people and to others it’s criminal damage.
“What none of us want is the beautiful appearance of the town being detrimentally affected.”
Borough Cllr Robert Everitt is chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Area Working Party.
He said: “We enjoy the benefits and privilege of living in a beautiful town and with that come some responsibilities.
“The recent rash of graffiti affects mainly privately-owned property and street signage.
“We continue to remove graffiti from our property and we are asking the Safer Neighbourhood Team to put this criminal activity on their priority list.”
As a community-led scheme, we want to hear from you:
What other ‘blackspots’ are there around Bury St Edmunds?
It isn’t just graffiti, are there problems with litter in your area that can be tidied up?
Do you belong to a group which might be able to help out with a litter pick? Or do you have graffiti cleaning equipment that can be used?
Are you doing anything in your neighbourhood which can form part of our campaign?
Are you part of a group that already volunteers time to keep Bury clean?
Is your school involved in community clean-ups?
Contact reporter Emma Lake or head of news Paul Derrick on 01284 757857 or 757845. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on twitter #bfpproud
If you see vandalism being committed, contact Suffolk Police on 101.