more than a dozen bus stops, street signs, lampposts and highways notices have been daubed with ‘offensive’ graffiti.

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And the police are urging residents to help them find the culprits.

Dozens of pieces of street furniture, including the ‘Welcome to Exmouth’ and ‘South West in Bloom winner’ signs, stretching from the entrance to Liverton Business Park on Salterton Road to the top of Dinan Way, were sprayed with gold paint.

The vandalism was thought to have occurred late on Monday night, and by Tuesday teams of council workers had started trying to fix the damage. Town clerk Colin Poole said that the clean-up could cost several hundred pounds: “It is just mindless, it really is. I really don’t know what they were trying to achieve.

“It probably happened quite late at night, but somebody must have seen something.”

He added that the cleaners had to be very careful in the clean-up: “The problem is that paint remover can damage traffic signs and if that happens the bill increases.”

PCSO Ben Tithecott said: “We have received reports of extensive graffiti predominantly along Salterton Road, Exmouth and Dinan Way.

“Some of it has been of an offensive nature.

“We have been working in co-operation with East Devon District Council to remove the graffiti; we have commenced our investigation to apprehend offenders.

“Could the public please be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour of actual acts of graffiti to the police.”

You can contact the police on 101, 999 or anonymously via crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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