Call on council to ‘get a grip’ on graffiti in the city

A pictorial Brighton Society campaign aims to highlight the amount of graffiti in the city, starting with 30 photographs of Middle Street in The Lanes – some of which are published here.

A spokesperson for the Brighton Society said: “The photographs of the graffiti in Middle Street are the beginning of a visual campaign by the Brighton Society as a response to the proliferation of graffiti in this city. Its aim is to give the general public a picture of the extent to which graffiti is destroying parts of the city’s heritage by defacing listed buildings such as the Hippodrome; this along with the defacing of private property is illegal.

The Grade-II listed Hippodrome on Middle Street (Photograph: The Brighton Society)

The Grade-II listed Hippodrome on Middle Street (Photograph: The Brighton Society)

“The visual campaign will not only be documenting graffiti on listed buildings but also other buildings that have been targeted by graffiti vandals. The approach will be on a street-to-street basis.

“Councils have a legal responsibility to protect and enhance Conservation Areas. Middle Street, for example, is within the Old Town Conservation Area, which besides being the oldest part of the city, has also been designated as one of the five Conservation Areas within the city as ‘at risk’. It therefore requires particular attention to protect its existing character.

“It is time for the council to get a grip and put a stop to these destructive graffiti acts. Chichester started to do this fifteen years ago. It employs specialist contractors to remove unwelcome graffiti as soon as it appears. Now graffiti is very difficult to find, other than in a special dedicated area of the University. Brighton could learn a lot from how Chichester tackled the problem.”

However, Brighton and Hove City Council said it is only responsible for removing graffiti on public property and council-owned buildings, although it added it would remove ‘offensive’ graffiti.

The council said it was the responsibility of a building’s owner to remove graffiti on private property.

It added that ‘it is illegal to graffiti on any surface without the owner’s permission’, and defined graffiti as ranging from ‘someone’s initials written on a wall in pen to a whole painted mural covering the side of a building’.

What do you think of the issue of graffiti in the city? Let us know at @BrightonIndy or on the Brighton & Hove Independent Facebook page.

For more information on the Brighton Society and its campaign, follow @brightonsociety on Twitter, or visit: www.brighton-society.org.uk