POLICE are hunting a vandal who daubed "horrific and offensive" graffiti on churches and on the prominent sign of a children's charity.
The community has been left in "disbelief" after pink graffiti was discovered on churches, notice-boards, houses and postboxes in Tywardreath and Par as well as on the Financial Advice Centre in Par Green.
The graffiti, including '666' which was sprayed on a church, was first spotted last Tuesday morning.
"It would appear that some ignorant little person has gone around with spray paint and targeted lots of places around the villages," said PC Rob Toms, from St Blazey Police Station.
The vandal also sprayed the notice-board at the entrance to CHICKS in Tywardreath, which provides respite holidays for disadvantaged children.
The vandal changed the word "retreat" to "rehab" on the entrance sign and scrawled a picture of a syringe. Children aged from 8 to 11 years were staying at the site – from all over the country – at the time, many of whom saw the graffiti.
"Some of these children were young carers, some have been exposed to abuse and they wouldn't usually get a holiday," said Tim Bunting, from the charity.
"We try and give them a week to remember – but we don't want them to remember vandalism and crime. It's horrific.
Luckily, our supervisors have been fantastic.
"We have got a really good relationship with the village and to see the entire community affected by this has been really upsetting for us.
"We hope they catch whoever is responsible and we would invite them to come and have a look at the work we do here."
Liz Hawken, treasurer at Tywardreath Methodist Church, said the notice-board outside the place of worship had been targeted as well as a nearby postbox and the board outside the Well Street chapel.
Circuit minister, The Reverend Danny Wheadon, said: "It's obvious it wasn't against the church, it was just indiscriminate vandalism.
"Perhaps it's their sense of humour, but it's certainly not very funny for anyone else.
"Freedom of expression is one thing, but what they did was very offensive and it's a real shame.
"If they want to do graffiti art, I'm sure the community would think about accommodating that, but offensive words and titillating drawings are a very poor message.
"I feel sorry for whoever did it and if they want to talk they are welcome to give me a call."
Mrs Hawken added: "I think the general feeling is just one of disbelief.
"We don't know whether to feel sorry for the person or whether to give them a good hiding."