masons-graffiti-southport

Southport Pub marred by abusive graffiti.

The Masons Arms pub on Anchor Street in Southport town centre has been marred by abusive graffiti.

The side of the pub was spray painted with abusive graffiti, thought to be aimed at one specific Southport resident.

Police are investigating the matter as an issue of abuse rather than public nuisance.

The graffiti is thought to be linked to an abusive graffiti incident on Hulme street and Portland Street earlier and on this week.

The laws on public property are very strict and anyone caught doing graffiti can be arrested and prosecuted under the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Offenders can go to prison for ten years or fined if the damage costs more than ?5,000. If the damage caused is less than ?5,000, you could face three months imprisonment or a ?2,500 fine.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced new powers for local councils to punish offenders and to help them clear up illegal graffiti. These included:

• On-the-spot fines of £50 to anyone caught doing graffiti on public property. These can be given out by police officers, community support officers or local authority officials;

• Giving local authorities the power to give clean-up notices to owners of street furniture such as phone boxes if they have graffiti on them. If the property is not cleaned in 28 days the authority can remove the graffiti themselves and charge the owner for this service;

• Making it an offence to sell spray paint to under-16s. If a shopkeeper can’t prove they took reasonable steps to determine the age of the person, they can be fined up to £2,500.

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