A Little Bit of Stone was alerted to a spate of overnight graffiti and vandalism around the Westbridge Park and Let’s See Bistro area of Stone.
Dan Kyle from Stone was the initial person to contact us after spotting the graffiti just after 5:20 am. “Terrible graffiti on the Let’s See restaurant this morning, not what Stone needs”.
This was followed up by a photo of the offensive messages from Alison Heeley just after 7:45.
Since the Let’s See restaurant closed earlier in the year finding the contact details for who was responsible for the restaurant was going to be a challenge but one that ALBOS was ready for!
A search of the land registry and Stafford Borough Council’s planning application database led to a contact number for the proprietor so we contacted him to make him aware and to offer our help in mobilising a team to clean up / paint over the graffiti.
The owner was grateful for our call and was on his way to the former restaurant for a planning related matter. Once he’d visited the site he gave us the all clear to help with the cleanup, as there wasn’t anything personally he could do at the time.
By this time we’d had several offers of help and before 9:30 a small team of Stone Independent Town Councillors were onsite to remove the offensive text from the walls.
A massive thanks from us at ALBOS and the greater Stone town residents for mobilising so quickly to remove the graffiti.
The building owner told A Little Bit of Stone:
“My grateful thanks to the team that worked so quickly to clean up the graffiti on the side of the vacant restaurant.
Due to personal commitments I wasn’t able to tackle the issue until later today but Stone has once again shown what a great community it is.”
A planning application has been submitted to extend out this canal-side restaurant, with a number of parties interested in taking on this prime dining location.
A Staffordshire Police statement on the incidents said:
“We are aware of reports of hate crime graffiti at two locations in the Stone area and are working with the local authorities to get the graffiti removed. An investigation is underway to identify and deal with the offenders.
If you have any information or encounter any hate crime-related incidents where you live, please contact us on 101.”
Councillor Jill Hood said of the vandalism:
“Matthew Ellis police commissioner imposed a 6.29% tax rise with one of his promises 60 extra officers. We’re told crime is changing, cyber crime, on line identity fraud etc. This I accept but it’s clear there is still the every day and night crime and vandalism taking place in the town especially vandalism. The graffiti which is spread around the town is highly offensive and racist. The damaged car and Marks & Spencer’s plant machinery is costly in time and value. It’s time a more visible police presence was in the town. It’s just not fair to our fantastic Stone police officers who are so stretched already.”