Graffiti: Cityclean has a targeted plan, this time.
The Brighton Society welcomes the recent comment by Cllr Hannah Clare, deputy leader of the council, about how the council knows that many residents feel passionate about graffiti and tagging. We assume she means the negative effect graffiti is having on communities in the city. We understand that Cllr Hannah Clare said that the council is committed to trying new ways of taking action on clearing up graffiti and tagging. However, these ‘new ways’, as with the ‘old ways’, don’t seem to be having a significant impact in removing graffiti or the graffiti vandals from our streets; this is evident from a walk around the city centre which highlights the failure, so far, of previous strategies to rid the streets of graffiti.
Cityclean are taking action. A new initiative has already started, with Cityclean working to remove graffiti in Hove, followed by roads in Brighton. They will be working in Church Street Hove, starting 12th September, then George Street and Boundary Road in October, followed by Preston Street, Ship Street, Middle Street and the Upper Lewes Road in November and December. Their objective is to clean up publicly owned street furniture, such as bins, benches and street signs.
This proposed action is welcomed. However, it should be noted that the bins in the Upper Lewes Road that are regularly graffitied are the large communal bins, which we understand are the property of the council. Therefore, the council should be cleaning these bins. With regards to benches, there are none in this road. Street signs are the responsibility of the traffic authority; we can only imagine that Cityclean must be issuing this authority with multiple fines. Furthermore, there is in the Upper Lewes Road a Royal Mail, free standing letterbox that is regularly targeted by graffiti vandals. Royal Mail you better get your act together or Cityclean will come knocking.
If these three targeted things, bins, benches and street signs, in the Upper Lewes Road and the other selected streets are successful in removing graffiti there will still remain many other types of graffiti, from moronic tags to infantile murals that attract uninvited taggers to tag them. Any attempt to clean up the Upper Lewes Road, or indeed any other street, will have very little impact unless the criminals are caught. Arresting the graffiti vandals should be the first priority of the elected authorities and law enforcement agencies in their attempt to stop the graffiti menace in our city.
In addition to the proposed action mentioned above, does the council have any legal right to issue a fine on the numerous domestic properties, which are often the target of graffiti vandals? If not, how are they going to totally rid the city of all these street markings?
We will be reporting on these designated streets to assess how successful the council’s ‘new’ graffiti strategy turns out to be.