Residents are in shock after racist and anti-Semitic graffiti was daubed throughout Poundbury.

They have told of their outrage as vandals spray painted the racially offensive 'n' word on a wall next to homes and painted a swastika and obscene words on a wall overlooking the Great Field.

A total of six incidents of criminal damage were reported to Dorset Police around the Great Field in Poundbury between Wednesday, February 14 and Thursday, February 15.

Simon Standish, co-chair of the Poundbury Residents' Association said: “It’s just dreadful. Any vandalism is dreadful, but this, particularly in terms of content and specifically racist content is unacceptable.

“Everyone is shocked, there’s nothing quite like it. It would appear to be random but it is deeply unpleasant."

There was also graffiti on the walls of Melrose Court on Peverell Avenue East.

Dorset Echo: The racist and anti-Semitic graffiti at Melrose CourtDorset Echo: Boards were put up to cover up the graffiti

Further along more graffiti was found, before further graffiti was sprayed over the communication board at the children’s playing area on the Great Field making it illegible.

The communications board is for SEND (Special Educational Needs) children and children who are non-verbal, to indicate what they are feeling whilst out and about.

Dorset Echo: Dorset Echo: Graffiti on the front of the communication board

Dorset Echo: Graffiti near Melrose CourtAnother image of a swastika was painted on St John's Way, whilst a bench on the field were also targeted.

Dorset Echo:

Dorset Echo: The sign on the gates of St. Johns Ambulance were also sprayed.

Dorset Echo:

The graffiti has since been covered up in Melrose Court, and cleaned off further along and on the Great Field. 

Dorset councillor Richard Biggs labelled the vandalism ‘inexcusable.’

He said: “There is no place for this kind of graffiti anywhere, I hope the police catch them as soon as possible.”

One resident said: “I was absolutely shocked to see it. You can’t have that sort of stuff next to a primary school.”

Another added: "It was very obscene, terrible words that we don't use anymore particularly near a play area."

Mr Standish added: “It’s disturbing, I know with the Big Conversation, crime and anti-social behaviour was highlighted, and there is a perception that there has been a rise lately and that is one of our priority projects that we will be discussing in at our AGM.”

“Our relationship with the police has been great, and they said they’re on it. They’re taking the matter very seriously and have communicated with the Duchy."

Mr Standish said he hopes PC Jane Goodwin will be in attendance at the AGM to address residents’ concerns.

He also confirmed that developers Morrish had helped with covering up the graffiti.

Jess Owens, an employee at the PiP café on the Great Field said the staff were 'shocked' and added that the café was not targeted, possibly because of CCTV on site.   

Fiona Kent Ledger, Chair of the Dorchester Town Council's Management Committee who installed the community boards, described the vandalism as a ‘heinous act.’

She said: “It’s extremely disappointing. The board is there for inclusivity to make play equipment accessible for all children, and spraying over something so people can’t use it is appalling and shows a level of disrespect- both to themselves and the needs of people.”

Dorset Police are investigating the criminal damage and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Police constable Glen Caddy, of Dorchester Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Dorset Police takes hate crime extremely seriously and we are committed to identifying those responsible.

“We are following all available lines of enquiry and would ask anyone who saw what happened, or has information about who was responsible, to please come forward.

“Local officers will be carrying out enquiries in the area and can be approached by anyone while out on patrol with information or concerns.”

Dorset Echo: Boards were put up and police were on the scene

A police van was seen by the Echo stationed next to Melrose Court.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55240023829.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111.