Spate of keying incidents 'ruin' New Year's Day for Saffron Walden drivers

The words "Barry Boy" were scraped onto a car parked at Swan Meadow, Saffron Walden

The words "Barry Boy" were scraped onto a Renault parked at Swan Meadow car park, Saffron Walden - Credit: Oliver Pottrill-Holland

A police investigation is underway in Saffron Walden into a number of cars being 'keyed'. 

Lines and rude words have been carved on to vehicles in Swan Meadow car park and parked in the Rowntree Way area.

Vandals are thought to have scored the words 'Barry Boy' on to a door of a Renault in the car park overnight on December 31.

Some of the damage resembles 'keying', when a person drags a key along a painted surface.

An Audi with its fuel cap on the floor and a scrape in its side in Swan Meadow, Saffron Walden

The fuel cap for this Audi is on the floor, and the car has been damaged. Essex Police is investigating four incidents which took place in this car park over New Years - Credit: Oliver Pottrill-Holland

A Mercedes driver found his back windscreen wiper had been pulled back, and a picture shows an Audi's fuel cap on the ground at Swan Meadow car park.

One car owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that having his car damaged ruined New Year celebrations.

He said: "The incident destroyed my New Year's Day, and will definitely have a financial impact.

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"I am someone who takes great care of their car, and I feel frustrated every time I look at it now.

"I say proudly to friends that Saffron Walden is a great town to live in, and that it is calm with very low crime rates.

"Then this happens!

"I don't know what anyone can do to be completely safe."

A damaged windscreen wiper on a Mercedes-Benz car in Saffron Walden

Damage to a car's windscreen wiper in the Rowntree Way area - Credit: Supplied

A keyed Mercedez-Benz car in Saffron Walden

A Mercedes-Benz car has been "keyed" in the Rowntree Way area - Credit: Supplied

He added that claiming on his insurance could have a long-term financial impact, so will look into repairing the damage at his own expense.

Essex Police is investigating four incidents in the town and has launched an appeal for information.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: "We are investigating four reports of criminal damage which took place overnight between December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2022 (New Year's Eve and New Year's Day).

"The reports were all made to us on January 1 and took place in Swan Meadow car park, in New Pond Lane, Saffron Walden.

"No arrests have been made and our enquiries are ongoing."

Police are collecting information about the incidents online at

Essex Police said witnesses can use the 'Live Chat' facility or file a report using the crime reference number 42/607/22.

Alternatively, information can be given over the phone on 101, or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.