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Vandals attack Christchurch underpass mural with graffiti less than two months after its unveiling

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VANDALS have attacked artwork displayed on a recently refurbished Christchurch underpass less than two months after it was installed.

Town councillor Mike Cox expressed his dismay after graffiti tags and obscene language were daubed over the mural along the pedestrian walkway linking Waitrose and Saxon Square either just before or just after Christmas.

The joint revamp by BCP Council and Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce had only been unveiled last November.

The mural unveiling last November
The mural unveiling last November

“I’m extremely disappointed that the mural has been vandalised so soon after being unveiled,” Cllr Cox told the A&T, adding he understood repair work was imminent.

“It just goes to show Christchurch is not immune to the problems affecting the rest of society.

“We need to make sure we have a zero-tolerance approach to this sort of thing in wider society, as well as in Christchurch itself. This is endemic in society.

“They won’t be allowed to get away with it, and if we catch them at it they will be fined and, actually, we will make them clear it up if we can.”

However, Cllr Cox also acknowledged the argument that some of this type of offending can be the result of boredom among the town’s younger residents and this was a matter that also needed to be addressed.

“We need to be providing them with youth clubs, which we are not doing – we seem to be closing them at the moment,” he continued.

“We need to provide them with more things to do and more places to go.”

As reported in the A&T, the underpass project had involved a deep clean and art decorations including a newly designed map of the town centre and 14 photos of Christchurch and surrounding areas.

It also allowed passers-by to scan a QR code that took them to the BCP Council tourism website.

The work followed renovations in 2020 that saw stair treads replaced to improve the route’s safety, with security mirrors also installed so pedestrians can see who is in the tunnel before they enter.

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