VANDALS have blighted the town centre with a series of graffiti tags, which residents say is harming the town’s image.

Police said there is a problem with graffiti in the alleyways around Groundwell Road, particularly between the Southampton Street, Northampton Street and Westmorland Road areas.

The ‘tags’ range in size, but many carry the initials NTY or the word Dire and officers are hoping someone will know who is behind the vandalism.

New Eastcott beat manager, PC Keith McLaren, who has recently transferred from Swindon response, said the graffiti issue in the area had been ongoing for a while and it could be down to a gang or an individual.

He said: “The Groundwell Road area of Swindon is currently experiencing a series criminal damages in the form of graffiti tags being sprayed on to residential and commercial property.

“The damage caused is not only unsightly, but is ultimately distressing for the community in the area, and I am keen to trace the offenders.

“We have instigated an increase in patrols of the neighbourhood and will deal robustly with any persons believed to be involved.

“I would urge anyone who has any information to contact us on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers.”

One business owner, Alison Deacon, of Optimum Health Services, said the grafitti was giving the town centre a bad name.

“I’m fed up to the back teeth with it,” she said. “We’ve had it on the back door and now again on the side wall.

“I think the council should be cleaning it off right away so our town looks better. It’s ridiculous because everybody moans that Swindon is not very nice to come to and it’s no surprise when there is grafitti everywhere.

“I think they should make the vandals pay for it when they catch them.

“Someone must know who is doing it – they’ve basically written their name on the wall in some cases.”

If anyone has any information or witnesses vandals in the area call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.