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News - 28 July 2004

Ridding the city of graffiti

The Brighton City Centre Business Forum hosted a training session for traders and a group of volunteers on Tuesday 27 July to show them how to clean up graffiti. Steve Murray from CityClean provided the demonstration and Matt Easteal from Brighton & Hove City Council assisted in fielding questions. A lively debate ensued and people went away with a graffiti buster box and an insight into the mentality of the graffiti vandal.

The participants were shown which chemicals work best on different surfaces and advised to clean the graffiti off as soon as it appears. There is a double benefit in this in that it is much easier to remove fresh graffiti and it is a major deterrent to the vandal if the tag is removed before anyone can see it.

Attention was drawn to a number of important things to do before cleaning off a tag. For example it is a good idea to take a photo of the tag and then inform the police. Not enough people do this and it is vital that the police are provided with as much evidence and information as possible if they are to catch the culprits.

Conversation amongst the group opened into a wider discussion calling for a coherent strategy to combat graffiti. Members of the group felt that more could be done to address the cause of the ailment rather than dressing the wound.

Options such as better use of CCTV, wall murals and free wall space for graffiti were discussed. Matt and Steve were able to give information on how other cities have implemented this range of tactics in dealing with the problem and so far no clear winning strategy has emerged.

The Business Forum is experimenting with various approaches and monitors the level of graffiti on a six monthly basis. The Forum also has plans to reconvene the Graffiti Strategy Group. Findings and useful information on how to combat graffiti will be posted on this web site.

For more information please contact Soozie Campbell on 01273 380040

Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove City Council
Brighton & Hove City Forum
Easteal, Matt
Murray, Steve

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