Team takes on graffiti hotspot

tis  Pictured from left in the Hydro underpass are Duncan Morris, PCSO Tom Lister and Steve Baker.  (120723M2)
tis Pictured from left in the Hydro underpass are Duncan Morris, PCSO Tom Lister and Steve Baker. (120723M2)

A graffiti hotspot in Harrogate has been transformed by a group which hopes its Olympic display will keep unsolicited artists at bay.

An underpass tunnel near the Hydro has been targeted by vandals for years, with offenders spraying tags and leaving litter there.

Now, the community has taken the matter into its own hands and has created a clean and repainted space which it hopes will deter vandals.

“The underpass has been a hotspot for graffiti and anti-social behaviour for quite some time,” said New Park PCSO Tom Lister, who helped to repaint the tunnel last week.

In recent years, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Duncan Morris had painted over the graffiti himself to try and keep it looking respectable.

PCSO Lister, of the Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “After chatting with him several months ago we decided that with the Olympics coming up it would be an ideal opportunity to get the community involved in creating a London 2012 theme.”

PCSO Lister, along with New Park ward councillor Trevor Chapman, helped to organise a repainting event last week with the support of Harrogate graffiti artist Steve Baker, who volunteered to do some professional painting.

New Park residents Fiona Ramage and her son Dylan, along with Jade Cormack helped to draw and paint the designs, helped by primary school pupils at St Joseph’s and Coppice Valley who made Olympic posters which were transferred onto the walls.

“It was a great success,” said PCSO Lister.

“Hopefully this will see an end to the constant graffiti down there.