“Mindless vandalism” in Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 12:27 07 September 2011 | UPDATED: 16:52 09 September 2011
VANDALS armed with spray paint have run amok in WGC, damaging cars and road signs through a section of the town.
Several residents living in or near Stanborough Road and Broadwater Road awoke yesterday (Tuesday) to find their neighbourhood covered in red, black and silver spray paint, following an overnight attack police have dubbed “mindless vandalism”.
At least five cars in Beechfield Road were damaged, as were street signs to nearby Moss Green and Longcroft Green.
Numerous road signs directing traffic were also spray painted, while a sign for the Spar supermarket at the Total petrol station in Stanborough Road was daubed with vulgar language.
One furious Beechfield resident, who did not want to be named, phoned the Welwyn Hatfield Times to say she believed the vandalism was a direct result of Hertfordshire County Council’s recent scheme to turn off street lighting in quiet residential areas at night.
“We never used to have any trouble here before they switched the street lights off,” she said. “Since they turned the lights off we’ve had vandalism and attempted vehicle break-ins.”
Despite the fact that Stanborough Road and Broadwater Road are not part of the light switch-off scheme, she added: “These roads didn’t suffer these problems before.”
And a motorists, calling from the Total garage, said: “They’ve really run amok here.”
Detective Sergeant Mark Wallis, from Welwyn Hatfield Local Crime Unit, distanced the police from the debate over the council’s street lighting policy.
“At least five cars and a number of road signs have been damaged with spray paint,” he said.
“This appears to be acts of mindless vandalism and we are following up various lines of enquiry to trace those responsible.
“It would be impossible to link these incidents to the county council’s scheme to turn off some of the county’s street lights.
“The investigation is at an early stage and, as more details come to light, we would encourage anyone who has been a victim of these crimes and has not already contacted police to do so.
“Also, if you think you saw anyone acting suspiciously overnight in the Beechfield and Holwell Roads, or towards the town centre, we would like to hear from you.”
Call police on the non emergency number 101 with information.
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