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Friday 11th July 2003
Worcester girl runner-up in BT competition
Poster by Louise Banks
Poster by Louise Banks
Louise Banks, a 13-year-old student at Christopher Whitehead High School in Worcester, has been awarded a runner-up prize in BT Payphones' nationwide anti-vandalism competition.

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BT: Payphones

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Last year there were more than 155,000 cases of vandalism to payphones in Great Britain

The cost of repairing vandalised phones is more than £3.4 million

Phone boxes provide a vital form of communication between the emergency services and the general public, last year more than 2.6 million phone calls were made to the emergency services from public phone boxes

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Louise Banks fought off heavy competition in a national competition in order to have her winning poster displayed in BT phone boxes near her school and in Worcester town centre.

The designs were selected by representatives of the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade from more than 400 entries submitted by 11-14 year olds around the country.

The challenge was to design a poster which discouraged the vandalism of payphones. The judges, Bob Webb, Principal Controller from the London Fire Brigade and Steve Colgan from the Metropolitan Police Problem Solving Unit, said: "Vandalism is a serious problem which unfortunately we encounter every day. It poses a real threat to our communities."

One of the main dangers caused by vandalism to phone booths is that the public are unable to contact the emergency services. "The potential danger to life caused by the delay in calling the police, fire or ambulance service when the payphone has been damaged by mindless vandalism is frightening."

"Louise's design clearly depicts the dangers of vandalising payphones, especially when they are required for an emergency situation."

"The poster campaign was a creative way of making would-be vandals stop and think about the dangerous consequences of smashing up payphones."

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