MORE than a hundred acts of graffiti reported in County Durham in recent years was racist, new figures reveal.

A freedom of information request, submitted to Durham County Council, lists the number of graffiti reports between July 28, 2016 and November 1, 2018.

Over the two-and-a-half year period, 945 graffiti incidents were recorded with 112 classed as racist.

Durham County Council’s head of direct services, Oliver Sherratt, said the council aims to take swift action to tackle graffiti which can put pressure on resources.

He said: “We understand people find racist graffiti particularly offensive and look to remove offensive graffiti within 24 hours of it being reported to us, and within three days for other kinds, wherever possible. Graffiti of any kind is a criminal act for which offenders can be issued with fixed penalty notices, fined or imprisoned.”

Durham County Council define graffiti as an “illegal activity that creates a negative impression of an area (which) can be very unsightly.”

A recent example included reports of buildings in Peterlee being vandalised with pictures of male genitalia and swastikas.

Mr Sherratt added: “As well as spoiling the appearance of an area, graffiti is an unnecessary drain on our resources as our staff have to remove it from public buildings and fixtures. We have recently applied graffiti-resistant coating to a number of subways across the county which is proving successful in preventing them being targeted.”

To report graffiti to the council visit or call 03000-260000 or contact Durham police on 101.