Harrogate residents angered after cars attacked with spray paint

Image of a car attacked in Starbeck
Image of a car attacked in Starbeck

North Yorkshire Police say they are becoming 'increasingly concerned' about a spate of car damage across Bilton and Starbeck.

Since October last year, police said they have received around 40 reports of cars being damaged, including wing mirror damage or marked with spray paint.

Some residents have even complained their homes have been damaged with spray paint with others informing police that they have been targeted on numerous occasions.

Many of the cars which have been damaged have had foul or abusive language sprayed on them while others have been a collection of letters.

PC Amanda Hanusch-Moore, of Harrogate Police, said that they are continuing with their high-visibility patrols but admitted they had been constrained by a lack of witnesses.

She said: "The difficulty is that these crimes happen overnight with the owners not discovering the damage until the early morning.

"It makes it difficult for us because we have not had any witnesses so nobody has seen the damage being done and there is very little forensic evidence for us to follow up with.

"It's often the hardest crime for us to solve because no matter how often we are in that one area it's a case of being in the right place at the right time.

"Or we are relying on an offender leaving forensic evidence at the scene that we can match but, at the moment all we have is circumstantial evidence."

PC Hanusch-Moore stressed that she doesn't believe any individual is being particularly targeted and blamed it on the general 'devilment' of the offenders.

She said: "We think it's someone that lives in that location because it's happening within a small area of Bilton and Woodfield.

"We have had a few leads that we are following up on. From the information we have received, the offenders are young persons in their mid to late teens who are doing this for no other reason than it's late at night and they can do.

"We are logging every incident and we are hopefully getting more officers down there because it's a real issue for the residents and for police."