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Residents concerned about graffiti in roads, on Town Hall

  • Residents are concerned about graffiti that was recently done in Greenville, including next to the cemetery on Pleasant Street.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Residents are concerned about graffiti that was recently done in Greenville, including next to the cemetery on Pleasant Street.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents are concerned about graffiti that was recently done in Greenville, including next to the cemetery on Pleasant Street.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents are concerned about graffiti that was recently done in Greenville, including next to the cemetery on Pleasant Street.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Residents are concerned about graffiti that was recently done in Greenville, including next to the cemetery on Pleasant Street.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, October 26, 2017

A spate of spray-painted messages appeared on the Town Hall, the Pleasant Street cemetery, and other places around the town of Greenville, causing concern among residents.

The graffiti makes several references to drugs, with 4:20 (a number significant in weed smoking culture) spray painted on the stone wall outside of the cemetery, with a cartoon smoking a joint with “smoke weed” spray painted in the road. The back of the Town Hall was defaced with slogans such as “sex, love, drugs” and “send nudes.”

Several residents have expressed concern, and plan to attend an upcoming regular joint police committee meeting on Nov. 6, to discuss the vandalism with police. The committee consists of members of the Select Boards from both Temple and Greenville, as well as Police Chief Jim McTague.

“Most everyone is pretty upset for sure,” said Heather Rathbun Schoff in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript. Rathbun Schoff was one of the coordinators of a recent community vision forum discussing the future of Greenville. She said she plans to attend the police meeting and encouraged others who are concerned about the vandalism to do the same. “I would love to see some other residents there as well,” she said. “They allow the public at these meetings, so it is a huge advantage to go and speak directly with the police chief in the presence of the joint select boards.”

McTague said that while the graffiti has come to the attention of residents, it’s not outside of the ordinary for this time of year.

“This happens in most every town, most every year,” said McTague in an interview on Wednesday. McTague said incidents of criminal mischief tend to spike two times a year – in October, or “mischief month” and in June, when school lets out, with teens or young adults often the assumed culprits. This year is no different, he said, with the Town Hall reporting the vandalism Monday, believing it happened over the weekend. 

Cases of vandalism and criminal mischief are actually down compared to previous years, said McTague, although he added it would not be unusual to see additional calls come in over the course of October. 

In 2012, the Temple-Greenville Police Department had 44 reported cases of criminal mischief, in 2013 there were 33 and in 2014 there were 22, according to  crime statistics.

“So, it’s not out of the normal,” said McTague. In fact, he said, the numbers for vandalism are down. This year, the police department has responded to 13 cases, seven of which have been solved. Some are likely to remain unsolved, said McTague, including reports of an egging, someone shooting a BB pellet at a front door, and someone dumping pottery on a resident’s lawn.

“This kind of thing takes minutes if not seconds to do, and usually no one sees anything. They’re impossible to solve,” he said. And, he said, few people who have minor vandalism occur on their property report it, and he encouraged people to do so.

The joint police meeting will be held on Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Temple Town Hall.