By Humphrey Carter
CALVIA council yesterday gave assurances that it is on top of the area's graffiti problem and that a new crackdown on the wave of vandalism sweeping parts of the municipality and sparking outrage from residents is being planned. How to stop the spread of graffiti has regularly topped the agenda at the Monday council meetings and the maintenance board, headed by Juan Thomas, is apparently doing its best to clear away the graffiti, although, according to Councillor Kate Mentink, the old dry stone walls are nearly impossible to clear because the spray paints used seep into the masonry very quickly. Nevertheless, a range of solutions is being looked at, starting with one of the main concerns of the extra police to be posted on the beat, which will be to try to catch graffiti vandals “red handed.” “If we can't catch them we can't stop and fine them,” Mentink said.
She also agreed that perhaps the previous Socialist council's attitude has only helped to make matters worse. They built a number of graffiti areas, which appears to have only encouraged children to re-decorate parts of the municipality. The council is studying an idea to set up new “urban parks” for teenage kids to entertain themselves, but under supervision. “We are aware of the problem and want to eradicate it,” Mentink said, “but we've also got to involve the school and educate children not to destroy their own environment,” she said.

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