'Designated crack and heroin zone' signs put up around Cambridge in prank

One of the fake signs that were put up by a Brighton-based arts group.
Credit: BPM Media
One of the fake signs that were put up by a Brighton-based arts group. Credit: BPM Media

Fake council-branded signs marking out "designated crack and heroin zones" around a city centre have been removed.

The notices, pretending to be from Cambridge City Council, were stuck to posts and street furniture within sight of some of the city's most famous landmarks, including King's College Chapel.

They included the Cambridge City Council logo with text that said: "The sale and use of crack and heroin is permitted in this area."

The signs were on King's Parade, Sussex Street, Magdalene Street, and other locations.

The images were supposed to "raise awareness around child exploitation", said the group responsible. Credit: BPM Media

Cambridge City Council has said that the signs were "clearly fake" and removed those found on Wednesday.

The council has said it has a zero-tolerance towards flyposting and that it would consider issuing proceedings against anyone found to have put up posters illegally.

A collective of artists called Pattern Up has claimed responsibility for the posters.

A spokesperson for Pattern Up said the signs have been put up "to raise awareness around child exploitation".

They said that they wanted to raise awareness of drug use and how it affected children, including through county lines networks.

The images are the work of Brighton-based collection Pattern Up Credit: BPM Media

The Pattern Up spokesperson said the council logo has been used as "the council notices are more believable".

They said people across the country put up the signs on behalf of the Brighton-based group.

A Cambridge City Council spokesperson said: "We are disappointed that this organisation is using Cambridge City Council's logo without permission and in doing so trivialising the effects of illegal drug use, and undermining work to tackle drug-related crime in Cambridge.

"We will remove any signs like this which we are made aware of."

It said the council and its partners "fully understand the impact of drugs on users and communities" and was working to protect vulnerable people from exploitation.

Anyone caught flyposting can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £150

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know