A joint initiative between the police and Conservative-run Canterbury Council has resulted in a dawn raid on two teenagers who have been arrested on allegations of widespread graffiti. The police also removed plastic bags full of aerosol paint cans.
It has proved politically contentious.
Labour leader Cllr Julia Seath said: "It seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It is the type of action you expect for a drugs raid or breaking up a terrorist bomb-maker's cell. In the circumstances it seems quite excessive. I wonder if the police could not have come up with an alternative to this heavy-handed action."
But Conservative councillors defended the tough action. Cllr Jeanne Harrison said: "The graffiti problem in Tankerton has grown so much." While the Tory councillor for Chestfield and Swalecliffe Jenny Samper said:
"Graffiti costs the council £36,000 a year to clean off. I find it very sad young people have to draw attention to themselves by daubing buildings in this way."
Was it heavy handed? I don't think so. I go along with the "broken windows" theory that graffiti must be tackled or it contributes to an environment where more serious crime then takes place. If the police get some TV coverage good for them. It might act as a deterrent to the potential criminals.