New luxury homes in Cambridge vandalised with Latin graffiti

Alastair Reid
Newly built luxury homes in Cambridge which have been vandalised with graffiti - in Latin: PA

Newly built luxury homes in Cambridge have been vandalised with graffiti - in Latin.

The words "Loci Populum!" and "Locus in Domos" were painted in large letters across the front and sides of the houses in Water Street, in Chesterton.

Mary Beard, Cambridge University professor of classics, told the BBC: "This is a bit hard to translate, but I think what they're trying to say is that a lovely place has been turned into houses."

The Latin phrases translate online as "local people!" and "place of homes".

Other phrases daubed on to the buildings include "We [heart] our home" and the symbols for dollars, euros and Japanese yen, followed by the phrase "go away".

The six houses, which were built on the site of a pub, have gone on the market at a price of £1.25 million each.

"House prices are a massive problem in Cambridge," said Richard Taylor, a resident who has been "campaigning and commenting" on the development and related issues since it began.

The average house price in Cambridge is about £500,000 - at least 12 times the average salary for the area.

"We've got incredibly rich people living one street away from incredibly poor people," Mr Taylor said. "Clearly somebody is protesting against these houses."

This is not the first time people from Cambridge have seen a protest in an ancient language.

In 2015, someone threatened to "remove or destroy" bicycles chained to railings in the city centre, with the warning written in Greek and Latin.

"We do have our eccentrics in the city," Mr Taylor added, "but it doesn't seem to go together, the ability to write in Latin and being prepared to scrawl on buildings and cause massive amounts of damage."

A spokesperson for the developer said: "We have been made aware of the incident of criminal damage at our Water Street development and are taking steps to remove the graffiti.

"This appears to be an isolated incident and it has been reported to the police who are investigating. We will be reviewing our current security measures at the location."

Police said they were alerted to reports of criminal damage to four buildings at 8am today and officers were investigating.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting CF0183620417.