Racist graffiti sparks tension in Wigan

Racist graffiti has appeared across Platt Bridge
Racist graffiti has appeared across Platt Bridge

Abusive graffiti has been scrawled at various sites on a Wigan estate amid rising tensions in the area.

Wigan Council is encouraging people to report any graffiti immediately to the town hall or police, particularly when the context could constitute a hate crime.

The appeal comes after abusive messages were plastered on walls in Platt Bridge, in one case just metres from Holy Catholic Primary School on Wigan Street.

Racist messages, written in large letters, include slurs relating to the traveller community.

Horrified residents have reported heightened tensions following the death of local man, Billy Livesley.

A senior member of the traveller community, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Wigan Post after his family received abuse.

“We have got a load of writing on the trailer calling us ***** scum,” he said.

“This has been going on for weeks in numerous places up and down Platt Bridge, but it has recently got so much worse.

“It’s a hate crime and that’s that. What has happened with the Billy Livesley death has got nothing to do with me or anyone else here.”

Pictures have emerged on social media of the abusive graffiti, with some residents contacting the Wigan Post asking for help to highlight the growing issue.

One resident said: “The news recently has been filled with the horrific murder of Billy Livesley.

“His death is starting racial tension covering the entire Platt Bridge estate.

“Graffiti is appearing everywhere, including opposite a school used by the local travelling community. It’s upsetting to see as the school has a high traveller attendance and innocent children will be facing these slurs daily now.”

As well as outside the primary school, graffiti was scribbled across a wall where Walthew Lane meets Webster Street. However, this has since been painted over.

A council spokesperson said: “Residents can report graffiti or any environmental crime to us on the website or via the council’s Report It app.

“Once reported, we aim to remove graffiti on public property within five working days and graffiti which is classed as racist or offensive in nature will be removed within 24 hours or sooner.

“Residents can also report any incidents of anti-social behaviour to us or to GMP on 101.”