Police and council workers are fighting back against a bout of graffiti in Chippenham by blasting tags off walls.

Walls, fences, bridges and road signs around Sheldon Road, Lords Mead and Bristol Road next to the football club have been targeted. A chewing gum removal machine has also been put to use.

Adrian Jones, head of service delivery at Chippenham Town Council, said: “We will not tolerate this illegal activity, it is unsightly. Our policy is to remove it within 24 hours.

“We have had it before on the railway arches, a grade II listed structure, and we worked with Network Rail to remove that. It is an eyesore and it is becoming more prevalent.”

A spray art wall was launched in November 2011 below the Gladstone Road bridge to allow street artists a place they can legally tag.

Inspector Phil Stayning said: “We tried to reduce it by distracting the focus to where they can do it lawfully.”

But Wiltshire councillor Peter Hutton said it remains a problem and the community safety group are also working with the Partnership for Schools.

Mr Hutton said: “By pulling resources together we can not only demonstrate that we can tackle this issue but highlight to the small minority of offenders that it is not acceptable behaviour.”

Criminal damage and arson in Chippenham has reduced by 27 per cent, with 131 fewer incidents in the year ending March 15.