Council Announce Graffiti Crack-Down Plans
Brighton and Hove City Council have announced plans to get tough with graffiti artists, in an effort to ‘reclaim our streets’ from those who have de-faced it.
These plans seek to unite police, residents, local businesses, students and even the taggers themselves, in order to work together to create a cleaner, smarter looking city. These plans come as more and more of Brighton’s beautiful streets are being left with unsightly art. Figures show that the percent of Brighton streets with a high rate of graffiti have risen by a shocking 7% in the past year.
Whilst a large amount of the graffiti around Brighton is created by talented artists, who have been commissioned to make their mark, there are unfortunately many taggers who simply seek to deface property. In many cases, these taggers will actually deface other artists work, by scrawling their name over the top.
One of the main proposals within the plan will see the creation of an online database, inviting people to report tagging. Anyone who spots an unsightly new piece of graffiti can head straight to the database to log the date, time and location. Police believe that this database will enable them to more successfully prosecute repeat offenders, as it will be easier to see a pattern of individual criminal activity. The sentence for such offences come with a maximum of 10 year imprisonment.
The need to crackdown on the issue of graffiti within Brighton is clear, especially when the financial concerns are taken into consideration. The council currently spends an enormous £75,000 a year removing graffiti, despite only being responsible for cleaning their own buildings.
Councillor Gill Mitchell who chairs the environment, transport and sustainability committee has reiterated the importance of these plans:
“Not only does this type of vandalism create ugly eyesores in our streets and neighbourhoods, it costs the council, and therefore our taxpayers, thousands of pounds every year to clear. This strategy addresses the concerns of our residents, businesses and tourist by setting out a clear and achievable plan for how the city council and its partners will tackle the graffiti scourge, halting this tide while reclaiming our streets and neighbourhoods from the vandals.”
In addition to the online database, the council have also proposed to increase surveillance in known hotspots in the hope of catching those responsible more effectively. It is also hoped that regulations will be put in place forcing property and business owners to be more responsible for cleaning the graffiti left on their property.
The plans also work towards means of prevention, by working with young people from across the city and educating them on impact of graffiti. The council also want to engage the city’s youngsters in more positive urban art projects that will enhance rather than deface the environment.
These plans will be put to the committee on Tuesday 27th November, with the outcome released shortly after. To read the plans in more detail, please visit the council website.