New powers have been granted to local authorities to help them tackle graffiti.
Brighton and Hove City Council has been cracking down on removing graffiti and apprehending vandals over the last few months. An announcement from the Home Office on 6 April means it will now have further powers to issue the owners of 'street furniture', such as phone boxes, bus shelters and railway property with an order to remove graffiti.
The council will be able to issue 'Defacement Removal Notices' to companies and organisations whose property is defaced requiring them to remove both graffiti and fly posting from their property within 28 days. If this is not done, the local authority has the power to clean up the affected sites and recover costs from the owner.
Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said, "Graffiti is a depressing and unsightly menace in many communities. It affects people's quality of life, increases fear of crime and reduces pride in a community. It also costs us all millions of pounds a year to clean up - money which could be better spent on other valuable services.”
It has been shown time and again that if graffiti is consistently removed as soon as it appears it soon stops appearing. The vandals want their daubings to be seen and will prefer sites that don’t get cleaned.
In Brighton the council is already working with the utilities companies to ensure rapid removal and is unlikely to need to wield the heavy hand of the law to enforce this.
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Brighton & Hove City Council