Battle lines drawn over graffiti in town centre

Cllr Charles Kennedy angry about graffiti in Kirky town centre. 13.10.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Cllr Charles Kennedy angry about graffiti in Kirky town centre. 13.10.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

WAR is being waged against vandalism in a “forgotten part” of Kirkintilloch town centre, but more must be done it has been claimed.

Doors and walls between the shops on Cowgate and New Lairdsland Road have been daubed time and time again with senseless graffiti – to the disgust of Councillor Charles Kennedy.

He has praised the “magnificent” work of council workers to clean up the walls behind Cowgate – in the area of David Donelly Place – but said he was appalled by a fresh bout of vandalism.

Graffiti has been sprayed on east-facing walls behind the shops, on the close at the side of Greggs, and on doors and steps.

Councillor Kennedy said: “It’s been going on for years. We’ve managed to get it cleaned up time and time again, but now it’s as bad as ever. It’s soul-destroying.

“It’s a forgotten part of Kirkintilloch, but it’s a very important part.

“People can see it from New Lairdsland Road – visitors see all this graffiti and it’s intimidating.

“Somebody will need to take responsibility for this. People in the flats will need to tell the police about it.

“The more we allow this kind of graffiti to continue, the more chance we’ve got of more serious crime.

“It really brings down the tone of the area.”

Councillor Kennedy called for a greater police presence in central Kirkintilloch and in the meantime has asked the council to clean the area once more.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Removing litter and graffiti as quickly as possible continues to be our goal – especially in town centres.”

A police spokesperson said: “There has been no noteable increase in vandalism or reports of vandalism in the Cowgate area, however, we would always encourage the public to report crime of any type.

“There are CCTV cameras that cover the Cowgate area. They are active and can be very effective in assisting the police to trace offenders.”

* For vandalism, there is a maximum fine of £1,000 or a sentence of 60 days’ imprisonment in a district court. In the sheriff court, there is a maximum fine of £5,000 and/or three months’ imprisonment (six months for a second or subsequent conviction).