I am glad that Grant Shapps shares my concern about graffiti on railway land, a subject on which I have written more than once. Let’s be clear, however, this will make no difference whatsoever - the graffiti will remain for many months ahead.
I travel regularly on Southern between my home station at Carshalton and Victoria via Streatham Junction, Balham and Clapham Junction, and it is not uncommon to see what is clearly fresh graffiti.
Strong action is needed, not mere words. Not only must the results of this unsightly vandalism be cleaned off, greater effort must be made to stop it happening in the first place and to deal strongly with offenders.
Recently, in the dark, my train was delayed and eventually had to reverse back to Clapham Junction due to trespassers.
What should the punishment be for those caught? They could be given community service and clean off graffiti (although obviously not on railway land), or they could be given a custodial sentence.
I would recommend the latter. Taking their liberty away for a year (no doubt reduced to six months) would be a real deterrent. If they are employed, I am sure their companies would not welcome their action, especially if their employer was named.
If the authorities are really serious about tackling this issue, then let’s see some action.
These vandals take great delight in seeing their ‘tags’ remaining visible for as long as possible. Don’t let them win.
John Parkin, Carshalton