Little lad’s call to crime chief to remove lewd graffiti from Somers Town school is answered

Oakley Wythe from Cottage Grove Primary School in Southsea
Oakley Wythe from Cottage Grove Primary School in Southsea

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A YOUNGSTER’S plea for someone to help get rid of graffiti outside his school to win it a ‘fresh start’ has been answered.

Young Oakley Wythe, nine, made the plea to Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane who visited the Cottage Grove Primary School, Somers Town, on Thursday.

Mr Lane had asked Year 5 pupils, who were learning about hate crime, what he could do for them to help stop such crimes.

Little Oakley said: ‘I think what you could do is make a fresh start by repainting some of the walls that have graffiti on it.

‘People have drawn loads of horrible stuff on it and terrible words.’

A homophobic comment had been scrawled on the wall, along with lewd drawings.

Within hours of Mr Lane’s visit the police had been informed and they got in touch with council workers who removed the graffiti.

The words, daubed along the alleyway outside the school’s nursery appeared over a period of time.

The school had artwork painted on the alleyway two years ago in a bid to deter any vandalism.

Speaking in the classroom during Mr Lane’s visit, headteacher Polly Honeychurch said: ‘Our smallest children are there and have to see it.’

After the vandalism had been cleared she added: ‘I am delighted that our children have been listened to and that they can see such a prompt response to their concerns.

‘The wall opposite school shows our school values and it upsets the children when their work is ruined by others.

‘Thank you to Michael for such a speedy response.’

Mr Lane had visited the class to see first-hand how his funding 40 schools to tackle hate crime through the Heartstone Odyssey project was working out.