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'It's not fair' - residents annoyed after vandals spray paint parking signs in Cricklewood
Drivers cannot find parking spaces outside their own homes after vandals spray painted Barnet Borough Council’s permit holders only signs.
All of the signs in Longberrys Estate, Cricklewood, were covered with black paint at least three weeks ago making it unclear when non-residents can park there.
Joseph Constantine who has lived in the estate for 22 years, said: “It’s very annoying someone has covered the signs.
"We have paid our money for parking and we should be allowed a space to park.”
Residents say it can be difficult to find a parking space at the best of times but now the signs have been defaced the situation is even worse.
Azar Pourdanay who has lived in the estate for seven years said: “I think people have done this because they’re annoyed about everything to do with parking. Prices are getting higher and now you have to use the mobile phone system – I don’t even have a mobile phone.
“Even in this street it’s just one hour for residents to park. We live here – it’s not fair.”
The signs were also vandalised with spray paint shortly before Christmas last year.
Liberal Democrat councillor Jack Cohen said he is “frustrated” with how long it is taking the council to sort the problem.
Parking services have been outsourced to private company NSL, although replacing vandalised signs is still the council's responsibility.
Cllr Cohen said: “Residents who have paid for parking permits are being ousted by people getting free parking.
“I am afraid this is an indication of things to come with Barnet's outsourcing programme. I used to be able to go straight to a council officer who would sort the problem, now things have to go through a third party."
Councillor Dean Cohen in charge of parking added: “The defacing of a parking sign is a criminal offence and ought to receive condemnation.
“With the exact location of the sign now reported to the council, we will do whatever is required to deal with it.”
This is not the first time parking signs have been defaced in Barnet. There were at least two incidents with signs being spray painted in North Finchley last year.
Paul Shea, owner of Tally Ho Discounts, in High Road, was charged with causing £1,000 worth of criminal damage by spray painting the pay-by-phone signs. The 44-year-old, of High Road, is expected to appear in court on March 28.