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News - 4 July 2003

New Laws May Compel Owners to Clean Up Graffiti

Private companies may be forced to remove graffiti from their property under government proposals to tackle anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime. The Home Office is looking at plans to end a loophole that allows firms to ignore graffiti on own private property.

An amendment could be included in the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill enabling councils to order firms to remove the graffiti or remove it themselves and charge for the work. The rules would extend to phone boxes, electricity sub-stations and generators, bus shelters and post boxes. This element of the bill would be welcomed by the City Centre Business Forum, which contributes to Brighton’s multi-agency, anti-graffiti strategy by trying to encourage businesses to take responsibility for their own graffiti (see earlier stories in knowledgebase or type graffiti into the site search engine). Most businesses remove graffiti but a stubborn 5 to 10% are content to live with and do nothing. This is particularly the case with telephone companies who are happy to leave their control boxes covered in graffiti thus making an obtrusive piece of street clutter even more unsightly. Brighton & Hove Council recently spent £30,000 on graffiti removal (see earlier story in knowledgebase) but it is a problem that is ongoing.


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