Police investigating racist and homophobic graffiti in Honiton arrest three teenagers

Police have arrested and released on bail three teenagers in connection to a spate of racist and homophobic graffiti in Honiton.

Officers investigating a flurry of ‘unacceptable anti-social behaviour’ have stepped up patrols in the area.

Devon and Cornwall Police said officers are investigating graffiti and criminal damage ‘of a racist and homophobic nature’ – revealing premises on Otter Moore Lane, Honiton, were targeted, including St Rita’s Centre, Holy Roman Catholic Church, Honiton Football Club, and Bob’s Burgers.

Police appealing for witnesses and information in relation to the criminal damage, are also investigating arson attacks on skips and bins in the Turks Head Lane area of town.

Property belonging to Smiley’s Café was targeted when a fire was started deliberately overnight in bins outside,  sometime between Wednesday, July 6 and the early hours of the following morning.

PC Katrina Catton, from the Honiton neighbourhood police team, said: “The local team are also investigating arsons that have taken place in the area, notably in the Turks Head Lane area as well as at Honiton Football Club.

“Most notably, fires have been started in a skip and bins in the area including to the bins outside Smileys Café overnight on Wednesday 6 July into the early hours of Thursday 7 July.

“Thankfully at this time no one has been hurt, but this is clear unacceptable and these fires could easily get out of control.

“Anyone with any information surrounding these arsons is asked to contact us.”

She added: “Thankfully at this time no one has been hurt, but this is clearly unacceptable and these fires could easily get out of control.

“We appreciate that this spate of anti-social behaviour is unacceptable and we are tackling this; there will be increased patrols in the area and we ask that if you have any information, speak with an officer or report via 101 to help us tackle this.”

Investigating officers on Friday, July 8 arrested three males aged 16, 17 and 18, in connection to graffiti and criminal damage in Otter Moore Lane.

All three have since been released on police bail; the 17-year-old is on bail until Wednesday, August 3, the other two were both bailed until Thursday, August 4.

PC Catton said: “In recent weeks there has been a spate of graffiti and criminal damage to premises on Otter Moore Lane, Honiton, which are of a racist and homophobic nature; The premises include St Rita’s Centre, Holy R.C Church, Honiton Football Club, and Bob’s Burgers.

“On Friday 8 July we arrested three males aged 16, 17 and 18 in connection to the matter. “All three have since been released on police bail; the 17-year-old is on bail until Wednesday 3 August, the other two both bailed until Thursday 4 August.

“We continue to investigate these matters and I am appealing for witnesses if you have any information that can aid our investigation.”

And East Devon District Council (EDDC) is appealing for information and witnesses to come forward after vandals daubed Honiton skatepark in graffiti.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “Graffiti vandals have struck again, targeting Honiton Skate Park.

“EDDC is now calling on anyone who may have seen what happened to come forward.

“Cleaning graffiti is expensive and a waste of EDDC officers’ time, which is very much needed elsewhere! Please spread the word to family and friends.

“Any residents who may have seen what happened or have any information on the offenders involved in the two incidents have been asked to report it.”

If you have information to help police in relation to graffiti and criminal damage in Honiton, call 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk quoting log 920 30 June. Or report information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The crime reference for the arson attacks is CR/060101/22.

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