Following a reference in Tim Gill's No fear, which I mentioned recently, I came across another couple of cases in the bizarre outbreak of criminal chalking. First this one (if you're of a nervous disposition, look away now):
Two teenage girls were fined £80 for drawing chalk pictures on a pavement in Bangor, Gwynedd. Hazel Mercer and her friend Charli Lyth, both 16, were given fixed penalties when a police officer saw them drawing hearts and rainbows.
And then this one -
A group of youngsters has fallen foul of the law for playing hopscotch. West Midlands Police community support officers asked parents in Spring Street in Halesowen to remove chalk markings after complaints about them.
In his book Tim Gill quotes the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police talking about complaints made to his force:
'The interesting thing to me is when you ask them what they are worried about, it's not young people committing crime or young people committing criminal damage... it is actually young people just being there. Young people simply existing is now a major source of concern for people.'