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Evening Echo – Who’s behind phone box graffiti?

September 21, 2006 by  

Who’s behind phone box graffiti?
By Michael Clarke

Graffiti vandals have been paying tribute to late Aussie adventurer Steve Irwin by spraying his image on walls and bus stops.

The images, created by spraying over a stencil, have appeared since the naturalist died after being slashed by the barb of a stingray’s tail.

A service in memory of Irwin took place in Australia yesterday.

His cheeky face has appeared at a bus stop in White Hart Lane, Hawkwell, amongst a handful of other locations.

Community police officer Steve Joynes said: “His face has appeared with several slogans such as Steve Irwin Lives’ and the date he died.

“It’s a lot more creative than the usual mess that appears and may give some people a smile.

“However, we cannot condone this.”

Vandals have also sprayed a life-size silhouette figure of a man about to pounce from a telephone box in Main Road, Hawkwell.

PC Joynes said: “I’ve seen it while driving at night and it looks so realistic – it looks as if someone really is inside the telephone box. Quite a few people have commented on it.”

Criminal damage, and graffiti in particular, has actually been on the decline in Hockley and Hawkwell.

Incidents fell from 125 between August 2004 and August 2005, to just 45 since September 2005.

PC Joynes and his colleagues attribute the drop to a series of new activities designed to keep youngsters occupied, such as football matches, netball tournaments, paintballing, go-karting, PlayStation evenings and even a pamper session for the girls.

He said: “We are trying to look at anything locally we can use to divert the lads’ and the girls’ attentions away from just hanging around and mucking about.

“It is giving the young people something to do – we think that’s important.”

11:12am today

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