Spray can ban demanded to tackle graffiti blighting Sheffield

Sheffield BID's 'Clean Team' in action (photo Sheffield BID/Tom Broadhurst)
Sheffield BID's 'Clean Team' in action (photo Sheffield BID/Tom Broadhurst)
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A business leader in Sheffield has called for tougher laws to tackle graffiti, amid a blitz on unsightly tags blighting the city centre.

Diane Jarvis, the manager of Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID), wants shops to be banned from selling cans of spray paint to anyone aged under 18.

Graffiti on Wellington Street before it was removed

Graffiti on Wellington Street before it was removed

Sales to under-16s are already prohibited but she believes raising the age limit would help prevent vandals making a mess of walls and shopfronts around Sheffield.

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"Longer-term prevention measures are vital to combatting the problem of graffiti." she said.

"The BID is working on ways in which we can help decrease the number of graffiti vandalism offenders at the same time as trying to keep the city centre free of unwanted graffiti.

"Some of the measures being implemented by Sheffield BID include deploying mobile cameras to graffiti hotspots and gaining permanent permissions from landlords so any re-tagging can be removed quickly.

Wellington Street after the graffiti was removed

Wellington Street after the graffiti was removed

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"We would also like to see changes to legislation banning the sale of aerosol paint and specific graffiti markers to any person under 18 years."

Ms Jarvis was speaking amid a 'spring clean' blitz by Sheffield BID during which 110 hours have been spent removing more than 500 square metres of graffiti in the city centre - the size of two tennis courts - since the middle of last month.

Since the BID's 'Cleaner' programme began in October 2015, 655 hours have now been spent clearing more than 4,000 sqm of graffiti.

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Ms Jarvis described removing unwanted graffiti as a 'huge task' but said all vandalism is reported to police, who keep a database of tags and suspects to help it track down and prosecute prolific offenders. This tactic, she explained, had resulted in one individual being charged with more than 60 offences.

Sheffield BID's 'Clean Team' have been clearing graffiti from walls and shop fronts across the city centre (photo: Sheffield BID/Tom Broadhurst)

Sheffield BID's 'Clean Team' have been clearing graffiti from walls and shop fronts across the city centre (photo: Sheffield BID/Tom Broadhurst)

She added that the Sheffield has a 'fantastic reputation' for street art and has given permission for artists like Florence Blanchard, Kid Acne, Phlegm and Faunagraphic to help brighten up the city through funded projects.

Sheffield BID promotes and supports businesses in the city centre, which fund the service by paying a levy.

Landlords and tenants of commercial premises in the city centre affected by graffiti can contact Sheffield BID on cleanteam@sheffieldbid.com to get it removed.