A COUNCILLOR has praised the police for taking steps to tackle the graffiti ‘epidemic’ in Yate, after a CCTV image was released of a man wanted in connection with the vandalism.

In March, Yate town councillor and resident Alan Monaghan told the Gazette that graffiti in the town was becoming a major problem, calling the vandalism an ‘epidemic’.

Now, after an increase in graffiti attacks, Avon and Somerset Police has issued a CCTV image of an individual that officers want to question.

“I am really pleased that they have taken this seriously as it is a criminal act,” Cllr Monaghan said of the police.

“They have taken some steps and hopefully it will help us get on top of the problem.

“Since the start of the year a lot of people have been sending me photos of the graffiti all around the area – it is getting worse. It is now being done on people’s homes and walls as well.”

Police issued the CCTV appeal after a number of ‘tags’ were left on a wall in Yate Shopping Centre, and a spokesman said that officers had received a number of reports about the issue from the public.

“Police are attempting to trace a man in connection with graffiti that has appeared in Yate,” the spokesman said.

“There have been around a dozen reports in the last two months, with the tags being mainly ‘Jeos’ or ‘Jeos34’.

“We would like to identify and trace the man pictured as part of our enquiries.”

Cllr Monaghan confirmed that he is looking to get Yate Town Council on board with a clean-up operation, whilst also stating that they will not ‘give up’ on stopping graffiti.

“I am trying to get people together so that we can have a co-ordinated zero tolerance response,” he said.

“I think there was a quiet period, but now it feels like it is back with a vengeance.

“We work really hard to make sure that Yate is a nice area to live but this is dragging it down.

“I think people are coming together against it, I have been overwhelmed by the response from residents.

“We are definitely going to stop it, we are not just going to give up.”

If you recognise the individual or have any other information which could help the police investigation, call 101 quoting reference 5219153034.