GRAFFITI the scourge of many cities has raised its ugly head in Oakham.

Scrawl has appeared at a number of sites around the town, better known for Oakham in Bloom and its attractiveness for tourists.

Earlier this week graffiti could be seen in Westgate, on the walls around the bus shelter seating area next to Somerfield, and on the public railway bridge crossing leading from South Street.

Even the site of the former Ferrers School, now boarded up, has been targeted just below a notice which warns that the premises are regularly patrolled.

And now town councillors are set to take action and plan to discuss the problem of graffiti at their meeting on Wednesday.

Coun Terry King said: "Weve got to react very quickly. Once it starts it can spread, especially if you ignore the young people responsible and dont attempt to find out why they are doing it."

On Wednesday a spokesman for Rutland County Council said: "The graffiti by Somerfield is being cleaned as we speak and Property Services are looking at preventative measures."

The graffiti at Ferrers School is at the back of the building on boarding put up after it closed in the summer. The boards will weather away."

Railtrack, which has responsibility for the footbridge, said graffiti is only removed when a footbridge is painted, once every six years unless the comments are racist, sexist or otherwise offensive, or it affects the safe operation of trains.

Speaking for Oakham in Bloom, town mayor Joyce Lucas said: "Graffiti lets the town down. It is a difficult problem.

"Id like to know where they get their spray cans from. Someone must sell the cans to them, local retailers should be aware of what going on. It must be pre-meditated."

Insp Les Milner of Oakham police said: "Obviously while it is commonly known as graffiti, it is also criminal damage, so people who do this should be aware they are committing a criminal offence which is anti-social.

"If people see this happening, or know who is responsible for this type of crime, then please phone Oakham Police station and we will certainly deal with the problem."

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