Pingu graffiti gets a frosty reception

A FRIENDLY little penguin from the South Pole is the latest creature to appear on mock warning signs being spraypainted on local roads.

The graffiti – depicting the speechless TV character Pingu – appeared on Old Hackney Lane, Matlock, between September 27 and 29 and has since been painted over by the council.

It follows a string of similar signs which appeared on minor roads around the Dales earlier this year.

These included warnings about spiders scuttling across Matlock Moor, giraffes grazing beside Matlock Farm Park, caterpillars cavorting on the back roads to Wheatcroft, and a unicorn on Bonsall Moor.

However police are not treating the latest incident as related, a spokesperson said.

She added that police were not given any descriptions of the culprit but investigations are under way to see whether the graffiti can be pinpointed to a known tagger.

Dozens of comments have been left on the Mercury’s Facebook page since the first of the similar-looking signs appeared in July.

They range from descriptions of the culprit as being ‘our very own Banksy’ to criticisms of the vandal’s artistic ability.

“I just hope the aspiring Banksy is using chalk and not costing the council and us taxpayers a small fortune in having paint removed from the roads,” wrote Facebook user Richard Thorpe.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said the authority was aware of the graffiti and had received five reports in total.

It plans to spraypaint over some of the graffiti, at a cost of about £70 each.

However the spokesperson said some of the markings would simply be left to fade with time.

She said the graffiti was ‘a nuisance’ but the council also had concerns for the culprit’s safety.

“The person who’s doing them needs to be aware they are putting themselves in danger,” she said.