A YORK politician has called for the city to adopt a "New York mentality" on graffiti.

Tory Clive Booth urged residents to take on a zero tolerance attitude to spray can scrawls.

"When he was mayor of New York, Rudoph Giuliani adopted a zero tolerance policy to graffiti," said Mr Booth.

"By making the vandals clear up their own mess, Giuliani ultimately made it uncool to graffiti the walls of subways, trains and underpasses."

The Conservative parliamentary candidate spoke out after inspecting the damage caused by Acomb graffiti vandal Alan Crosby, who appeared in court last week.

Mr Booth urged residents to phone the York Pride hotline on 01904 551551 over incidents of graffiti.

But he said if graffiti had "escaped the council's attention" residents should text the location to him on 0772 0412994.

Mr Booth said: "I'll make sure York follows New York's example.

"If you see graffiti, let's get it off the wall straight away.

"The graffiti's been on this wall (pictured) for more than six months.

"Unless the mess is cleaned up straight away the signal sent out to vandals is that York's attitude to vandalism is too casual."

Mr Booth's comments come after North Yorkshire Police launched a high-profile campaign this month to stamp out graffiti.

In a ground-breaking campaign, backed by the Evening Press, posters will be displayed across the city showing the "tags" - the distinctive "signatures" - of the most prolific offenders.

Sergeant Richard Crinnion, who is behind the drive, said "a number" of calls have been made to the anonymous information line.

He said: "This is just the beginning of our efforts. We are determined to do everything in our power to stamp out graffiti in York."

Darrell Buttery, chairman of York Civic Trust, a group that aims to preserve York's cultural and architectural heritage, welcomed the campaign.

He said: "We applaud any legal initiative to control the spread of this virus. We will never eradicate behaviour like this completely, but how good that there is a more focused campaign."

Anyone who can identify graffiti culprits could be in line for a £1,000 reward. Phone York Pride's Action Line 01904 551551. Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers free and in confidence on 0800 555111.

Updated: 10:44 Friday, March 25, 2005