Business owners on a busy Bristol street have expressed their anger after they were targeted by “mindless” vandals.
A number of businesses along North Street, Bedminster had various tags sprayed onto their shopfronts over the weekend.
Mon Pote, Lion Stores, Clarks Pies and Rare Butchers were among those to be targeted, and their owners are now calling for the “absolute morons” to stop their “meaningless destruction”.
“I was away at the weekend so one of my staff messaged me to let me know what had happened,” she said. “It’s gutting as I only recently spent thousands having the building cleaned and the stonework renewed.
“We had to get some graffiti removed from the walls when we moved to this unit and it cost £250 per tag, which is a considerable amount after a year of heavily disrupted trade.
“We’re just trying to get on with our business and we put a lot of effort into making the area look as nice as possible, so it’s really disappointing when this kind of thing happens.”
Bristol Stone Masonry had only finished restoring the stonework of the shop in March, added Anna.
She said that no matter how thorough the cleaning process is, the markings will always be slightly visible due to the nature of the stone, which is a “real shame”.
A tag which reads ‘TRU’ was daubed onto all the businesses that were targeted over the weekend, which business owners hope will lead to the perpetrators being caught.
Derick Knapman, owner of neighbouring hardware shop Lion Stores, said: “We had the lovely mural painting on our shutter ruined at the weekend by the latest tag, but I feel more for Anna next door.
“These idiots don’t realise that she has spent thousands of pounds having all her masonry work renovated and previous tags removed.
“They’re just absolute morons in my opinion. People don’t realise how much it costs to get something like this properly repaired.
“I love Upfest and all the amazing street art in the area but these tags aren’t art – it’s just an example of meaningless destruction.”
Clarks Pies was left with two tags on its white shopfront over the weekend, one including the ‘TRU’ tag.
Business owner Keith Prested said: “Of course it’s annoying, not just from a business point of view but in a community sense too.
“Some idiot that has no sense and no real artistic talent is able to purchase cans of spray paint and tag their street name wherever they damn well choose and nothing will ever be done about it.
“Of course people know who they are because it is their tags, but it’s likely to be a slap on the wrist and at most a £50 fine.
“These idiots should be made to remove it with their own elbow grease.”
Information on Bristol City Council’s website states it is “not responsible for cleaning all the graffiti in Bristol,” and encourages people to report the offence to the police.
Business owners can however fill out on a form which gives the council permission to remove or cover graffiti, a service for which there is “usually no charge”.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We’ve had one report of graffiti “tags”, including the word “TRU” on a shop in North Street, Bedminster, which happened over the weekend.
“We’d ask anyone with information about who was responsible to get in touch. We’d also like to hear from you if you have any dashcam footage which might help. Call 101 quoting reference 5221126172.”