An increase in offensive graffiti, resulting in words like ‘scum’ being daubed at the East Sands, has been slammed by St Andrews Community Council.
Speaking at this week’s meeting, council chairman Howard Greenwell said: “Areas of a stone wall have now been painted with the likes of ‘scum’ and other words that are dubious to say the least.”
“About four or five panels of the wall have been daubed – it appeared over the Christmas period.”
Based on the style of the graffiti, he said he believed it had been carried out by previous offenders.
It is the latest in a rash of graffiti that has hit the town in recent months with other beach areas and benches in the Kirkhill area coming under attack in November.
Most of the damage from that was quickly removed by Fife Council.
Mr Greenwell’s comments sparked a heated debate on Fife Council policy, which even Fife councillors at the meeting couldn’t agree on, after he claimed that only the local authority could remove racist slogans.
Community councillor Penny Uprichard demanded to know how Fife Council had decided to remove graffiti that was racist over other equally offensive markings, citing a long list of prejudices she found equally offensive.
Fife councillor Dorothea Morrison thought she knew the answer and assured the community council: “If the graffiti is offensive, the council will remove it.”
But fellow Fife councillor Brian Thomson agreed with Mr Greenwell: “I have been advised that it is only racist graffiti that the council will remove.”
A Fife Council spokesman cleared up the issue: “Fife Council’s policy is to remove all offensive graffiti – when motivated by prejudice or hate on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation – within 48 hours.”
Graffiti itself is regarded as criminal offence, attracting penalties of fines or even a prison sentence.