Anger as graffiti found across pillars at Peterborough Guildhall

Councillor John Fox has called on the police to do more to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city centre after graffiti was found at Peterborough Guildhall.

By Ben Jones
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 4:34 pm
Cllr John Fox and MP Paul Bristow were left appalled by graffiti at the city's Guildhall.
Cllr John Fox and MP Paul Bristow were left appalled by graffiti at the city's Guildhall.

Cllr Fox expressed his anger at the situation after finding a large amount of graffiti across the pillars of the Guildhall on Saturday (June 27).

The building itself is Grade II listed and was built in 1660 to commemorate the restoration of the monarchy and to replace a medieval guildhall located on Cathedral Square.

Cllr Fox said: “I was completed shocked and disgusted. This is our history and it is a prestigious building, it is absolutely disgraceful.

“The police need to get on top of this now as we don’t want out city centre to go into decline and fall victim to the broken window theory. Anti-social behaviour not being tackled will only lead to people losing respect for the area and thinking nobody cares, therefore leading to more of it.

"There are CCTV cameras pointing at the Guildhall so clearly they are not a deterrent. There is a lack of patrols and officers getting out and engaging with people while on those patrols. When I was an officer, we had four officers on the beat in the city centre 24/7. Officer numbers may have increased but I don’t believe they have increased proportionally with the size of Peterborough."

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow, who was attending the Armed Forces Day parade in Cathedral Square on Saturday and noticed the graffiti, along with Cllr Fox, has also called for the police to do more. He added: “Armed Forces Champion- Cllr John Fox - and I were appalled to see the graffiti at the Guildhall at the Armed Forces Day service this weekend. The mindless yobs responsible should be ashamed. The police should crack down on this urgently.”

In response, Neighbourhoods Inspector, Karl Secker has assured residents that officers do carry out daily patrols but has asked for their helped in reporting incidents. He said: “We have daily patrols in the city centre by both PCs and PCSOs, looking to tackle many areas of anti-social behaviour.

“We also work with partners on local and force priorities to tackle many things in the area, including, but not limited to, anti-social behaviour, street based violence, sex working, and drug dealing.

“Graffiti is difficult for us to prevent if we are not around to see it being done. We cannot patrol the city 24/7 as our teams are committed to many areas of policing.

“We have relatively few calls about graffiti taking place in the town centre, so I would urge people to report it when they see it occurring, and we will respond appropriately.

“In addition I would ask the public to report incidents to the local authority for cleaning and awareness. If there is evidence that shows who the perpetrators are, we will do all we can to bring them to justice and present them to the courts.”

Since the graffiti was reported, Peterborough City Council has arranged for its removal.