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Youngsters’ creativity brightens up ‘intimidating’ Upminster underpass thanks to police initiative

PUBLISHED: 12:14 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:45 19 July 2016

Pupil from James Oglethorpe Primary School Picture: Sandra Rowse

Pupil from James Oglethorpe Primary School Picture: Sandra Rowse

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From a dark, dingy and sometimes creepy underpass to a tunnel of colour and imagination, children have helped transform pedestrians’ journeys by picking up a paintbrush.

Hall Mead School pupils Alfie Darling and Daniel Stocks with Pc Sarah Morris Picture: Sandra RowseHall Mead School pupils Alfie Darling and Daniel Stocks with Pc Sarah Morris Picture: Sandra Rowse

The Upminster Community Art Project, a police initiative, invited eight schools from the area to get creative and help redecorate an alleyway running between St Mary’s Lane and Deyncourt Gardens.

Pc Sarah Morris, of the Upminster Safer Neighbourhoods Team, is hoping the project will help to bring the community together.

“There has been some low level graffiti in the alleyway and anti-social behaviour so people can feel a bit intimidated to walk down there,” she said.

“We thought it would be a good idea to get all the schools in the area involved in the project and they were more than happy to help.”

Hall Mead School pupils Maisie Critchell, Kaylen Fehmi and Jessica Johnson Picture: Sandra RowseHall Mead School pupils Maisie Critchell, Kaylen Fehmi and Jessica Johnson Picture: Sandra Rowse

Pupils have been joining officers in the alleyway for the past few weeks, bringing their own ideas of what the meaning of “community” is and painting their ideas on the walls.

Upminster Library, Gaynes Parkway, school crests and Upminster station are just some aspects of the community commemorated in the mural.

The Upminster Community Art Project is due to be completed next week with the mural given its finishing touches by officers. Pc Morris said: “We wanted to brighten the place up and give the youth some ownership of where they live and feel part of the community.”


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