Sheffield's most vandalised streets where council workers must scrub out 'offensive' graffiti

The most vandalised streets in Sheffield are a off-the-beaten path alley in the city centre and a back alley in a neighbourhood in Lowedges.
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Sheffield’s taxpayers do not bear the cost of graffiti in the Steel City too heavily. Rather than something the council pays for on each incident, removing spray paint from public areas is bundled into its existing contract with Amey.

However, an FOI to the City Council by The Star has revealed how some Sheffield streets are more plagued with graffiti than others, amounting to hundreds of man hours by council workers to remove it and at least £2,300 spent on chemicals and equipment to scrub it away.

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The Star asked the council for data on which streets had the most reported incidents of graffiti, and how many incidents the council had to respond to, including if the graffiti was deemed ‘offensive’ by containing profanities or hate speech.

Graffiti on Blast Lane, Sheffield. The off-track alleyway is Sheffield's most graffitied, according to incidents reported to the city council.Graffiti on Blast Lane, Sheffield. The off-track alleyway is Sheffield's most graffitied, according to incidents reported to the city council.
Graffiti on Blast Lane, Sheffield. The off-track alleyway is Sheffield's most graffitied, according to incidents reported to the city council.

The road with the most reports of graffiti since 2020 was London Road with 29 reports – but as one of the busiest in the city, this is perhaps not too surprising.

Far more surprising were the 27 incidents ascribed to Gervase Avenue, a neighbourhood in Lowedges, or the 24 incidents on Lupton Walk, a short back alley off Lowedges Road.

And, in the city centre, while the underpasses on St Mary’s Gate and Arundel Gate saw them have a high number of incidents of 19 each, they fell short of a far less well tread street.

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Blast Lane, near Victoria Quays, is heavily used for parking and passes under the bridge made by Derek Dooley Way. The underside of this bridge is heavily graffitied and led to 22 reports, beating the far more busy Arundel Gate and St Mary’s Gate.

Graffiti on Blast Lane, Sheffield. While the council does not track the cost of cleaning individual incidents, cleaning graffiti still takes hundreds of man hours as well as chemicals to clean away.Graffiti on Blast Lane, Sheffield. While the council does not track the cost of cleaning individual incidents, cleaning graffiti still takes hundreds of man hours as well as chemicals to clean away.
Graffiti on Blast Lane, Sheffield. While the council does not track the cost of cleaning individual incidents, cleaning graffiti still takes hundreds of man hours as well as chemicals to clean away.

There were 433 reported incidents in 2020, 466 in 2021 and 344 in 2022. In 2022, a fifth of incidents – 76 – were deemed ‘offensive’, and 190 of the total reports were in housing areas as opposed to city centre streets or public areas.

The council says it cannot identify any money spent on sanctioned or commissioned street art.