Fed-up residents are vowing to install CCTV systems after a spate of graffiti incidents and vandal attacks in the Colne Valley.
Several householders have reported damage to cars and other property this week in parts of Linthwaite including the Broad Oak, Hazel Grove and Pennine View areas.
Reports have included cars being broken into and graffiti daubed on cars and other property.
Some householders were puzzled and angered to discover mystery messages including ‘35K’, ‘37K’ and ‘67K’ daubed on cars and garage doors. Some suggested the messages are gang-related.
One woman, whose car had ‘37k’ written on it in blue pen, told the Examiner: “We will be investing in CCTV shortly so if any more incidents happen we will at least know who the culprits are.
“It said ‘37K’ on the front bonnet. We used warm soapy water to get it off so it could have been worse but this is not the point.”
She added: “A couple of months ago many of the cars on the road were scratched including ours so this is becoming a regular occurrence.”
One resident reported hearing youths outside his property on Hazel Grove at around 3.30am on Tuesday morning and later discovered ‘37K’ had been written on his car in green marker pen.
A Pennine View resident said she would soon be fitting CCTV after her car was ‘keyed’ twice.
Householders have taken to social media to share their concerns with other residents.
One woman said she believed gangs were responsible, saying: “There’s a gang called 37 around here. If you add ‘K’ it means **** them in youth terms so I think someone from a different area is showing they have been here.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said it had received reports of criminal damage in the Broad Oak area on Tuesday.
“The complainant returned home on Tuesday to find the garage door had been graffitied. They believed it happened between 1pm and 6pm on Tuesday.”
The spokesman said a resident on Hazel Grove had reported that their vehicle had been graffitied on Tuesday.
“The graffiti has been removed and there is no lasting damage.”
Malc Coton, chairman of community group Pride in Linthwaite, said: “Most villagers know who the teenagers and parents are but are often too frightened to report incidents to the police in fear of further incidents.
“It’s such a shame when there’s so many great things happening locally that one or two known ringleaders seem to be attracting weaker individuals into being involved in anti-social behaviour.
I am aware that Community Plus are working hard to engage some of the more problematic individuals in the Colne Valley, however with 25% of children in the area living below the poverty line, there’s much wider and deep rooted social issues which sit beneath these isolated cases.”
* Have you noticed similar graffiti in Huddersfield? Please email photos and the location to: firstname.lastname@example.org