'Totally unacceptable' White Lives Matter graffiti still not removed as more incidents confirmed
"Totally unacceptable" White Lives Matter graffiti painted on a footbridge on the A449 near Himley will have to be removed by specialists, South Staffordshire Council has said.
The local authority was alerted last week to the graffiti, which has been painted on both sides of a footbridge above the road near to its exit for Himley Hall and Park.
A spokeswoman for South Staffordshire Council has said "specialist contractors" will help to remove it due to its "difficult" location.
They continued: "There have been a number of incidents of this nature in the area, all of which have been reported to police and most of which we have cleaned up as soon as possible.
"However, this particular piece of graffiti is in a difficult location above the A449, meaning we are having to engage specialist contractors to safely access the external faces of the bridge to remove the graffiti, as this is not something we can safely do within existing council resources.
"We are seeking to have the issue resolved as soon as we are able."
The graffiti was still in place on Monday morning, although someone had seemingly tried to remove the word "white" with black spray paint.
'White Lives Matter' is widely considered to be racist. It is a phrase that originated in early 2015 as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which arose to protest against police brutality against African-Americans.
By 2016 white supremacist groups in America and beyond were using the slogan, and it soon became a staple among white supremacist mantras, continuing even after the original campaigners ceased their activities.
Speaking at the weekend, Himley Parish councillor Malcolm Crisp condemned the slogan and said it was "totally unacceptable".
He said: "It's not the kind of thing people want to look at driving down the road – it's certainly not acceptable.
"You don't know whether it's malicious but unfortunately the perpetrators aren't caught which, it would be nice if these people were prosecuted, but what happens if they are prosecuted - nothing.
"For me is whether the council can get off their back-sides and shift it. If it isn't there too long, hopefully people won't copy it.
"Any sound-minded person would say it's not acceptable. Hopefully (the council) get something done but it's in the lap of the Gods."
It has also been suggested that Himley has more of a general graffiti problem.
Chair of Himley Parish Council, councillor Yvonne Nock, acknowledged that there is some graffiti in the area, and explained that she has previously taken it upon herself to try and remove it.
She said: "There's a lot of graffiti inside Himley Hall but it's in a part that the public don't go into. We did have some inside the bus shelter on the A449 as well.
"Nobody knows who does it, it's very difficult because you can never see anyone doing it.
"It would be nice to have it removed but it is very expensive, you have to use specialist materials. Like the graffiti on the bridge, it's the taxpayer that pays for it."
The Express & Star has contacted Staffordshire Police for comment.