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Blitz on graffiti.

A major new anti-graffiti blitz has been launched in Hartlepool in a bid to further improve the town's image.

The town's 4,000 telephone junction boxes are increasingly being targeted by graffiti vandals and fly posters.

Now the council's environmental action team has brokered a deal with British Telecom and NTL to combat the problem.

The two companies have agreed to supply specialist materials to treat the junction boxes.

And the work will be carried out by young offenders, supervised by Hartlepool Youth Offending Service (YOS).

The young offenders all come from the town and are subject to reparation orders after being found guilty of criminal damage. Paul Andrew, reparation officer with Hartlepool YOS, said: "This scheme provides an ideal opportunity for local young offenders to give something back to the community, whilst also tackling a major environmental problem."

Craig Thelwell, the council's environmental action manager, said many of the estimated 4,000 junction boxes were becoming eyesores.

"This scheme involves re-painting the vandalised boxes and then applying a special anti-graffiti coating," he said.

"We are told the coating can last for up to 22 years and any further graffiti can be cleaned off with a mild detergent.

"This scheme has the potential to make a difference to the town's appearance."
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2004
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