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1st Jul, 2022

Vandals made to clean up their mess

Malvern Editorial 30th Apr, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

VANDALS who targeted play equipment and elderly people’s property were taught the consequences of their actions.

As part of the restorative justice programme which aims to educate offenders about the affects of crime, three teenagers who wreaked havoc over a weekend earlier this year were brought face to face with their victims this week.

The 14 year olds were also tasked with cleaning up some of the graffiti they had sprayed during the ‘prank’.

The offences were committed on March 15 and 16 and saw the trio writing graffiti on exercise equipment at Craig Lea recreation area off Harbinger Avenue and the skate park at Victoria Park, which both belong to Malvern Town Council.

They also drew pictures on garden gates belonging to pensioners in Orford Way and sprayed paint on to two parked cars and a house window in the Pickersleigh Road area.

PC Paul Lambon said: “This costly ‘prank’ was thought up and planned in advance with the boys thinking it would be ‘a good laugh’. They had not considered the consequences of their actions.”

Pickersleigh Safer Neighbourhood team conducted house to house enquiries, viewed photographic evidence and interviewed ten young people, all of whom provided statements.

A clean up day last week was planned with Malvern Town Council, seeing cleaning materials and paint ordered and permission slips signed by parents.

PC Lambon added: “Supervised by me, the group spent four hours removing graffiti had been done by others and removing this too was very impactive on the youths.

“After a short break the group were taken to meet the other victims of their crime spree. Apologising face to face was clearly uncomfortable for the lads and discussing the reasons for their crimes with the victims seemed to be very constructive for all parties.

“The victims remarked to me how impressed they were with the attitude of the boys and their willingness to make good the damage caused. Also, realising these lads had just been very foolish and were not ‘hooligans’ seemed to be a great relief for the victims.

“The young offenders were made to realise that graffiti is not a victimless crime and the amount of time, effort and money needed to repair the damage caused was much more than the time it took them to commit the crimes.

“They collectively told me they had learnt a valuable lesson and we, the police, hope this process has been more impactive than putting them before the courts.”

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