A Sheffield councillor has criticised illegal graffiti taggers for creating ‘a huge waste of time and money’ for the local authority.
Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment, said that the ‘vandalism’ would not be accepted by Sheffield council and was costing taxpayers money that should be spent on other services.
He said: “It is a drain on time and money that could be better spent elsewhere, but it does need dealing with.”
He added that the council is doing all it could to rid the city of graffiti and is looking into longer-term measures including using anti-graffiti paint and installing CCTV.
Coun Lodge said: “We are doing what we can to try and eradicate it, but we need people to report it to us.
“If we don’t know about, we can’t do anything about it. We need to get his message across. It is a blight on our neighbourhoods.”
“The council can remove graffiti from local authority-owned property as well as highways and parks and our different departments deal with this.
“However, we do still want people to report any graffiti on privately-owned buildings, so that we can speak to owners.
“We needed businesses and the community to come together to help tackle it. Together we can defeat it. We can’t force traders to deal with it but we want to try and work with them where we can, but everyone needs to get behind it. We need people to be our eyes and ears.”
Coun Lodge added that the council work closely with the police and Sheffield BID to try and catch offenders. Graffiti tags are documented to try and identify those responsible and sent to South Yorkshire Police.
The council are also handing out graffiti removal wipes to community groups to try and help tackle the problem on a small scale.
Coun Lodge said: “We need people to understand that it is not acceptable. There’s a bit of glamour and mystic associated with it but graffiti is not big or clever. It spoils people’s enjoyment of the city and gives it an unfriendly feel.”
“It is also dangerous. If you look at where the graffiti is - on highways and railways and high up on the top of buildings - it is a risky business. People have been seriously injured doing it. It’s not worth it. ”
Street art itself is great and adds vibrancy but there’s a difference between a work of art and vandalism.
* Graffiti can be reported at Sheffield City Council or by calling 0114 273 4567.