'˜Spring clean' bid to rid city centre buildings of graffiti

A six week '˜spring clean' to rid Sheffield's businesses of graffiti has begun in the city centre.

Monday, 4th April 2016, 6:58 am
A six week spring clean to rid Sheffields businesses of graffiti has begun in the city centre. Graffiti at Mecca bingo on Flat Street

The project, funded by Sheffield’s Business Improvement District, will tackle graffiti on privately­ owned commercial properties.

There will be four teams cleaning more than 60 affected sites in Sheffield and business owners can request the services for free.

Sheffield BID manager Diane Jarvis said graffiti is a ‘big problem that needs to be addressed’.

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She said:“Cleaning up unwelcome graffiti makes a difference – it shows the city cares about how it looks – and it helps to make the city centre a better place for those who live and work within it. It is an important part of showing our best side to visitors.”

Primark on the High Street in Sheffield city centre is often targeted by graffiti tagging and was the first building to be cleaned up after the launch of the spring clean.

Mel Kassim, manager at Mecca Bingo on Flat Street in Sheffield, said their building is also often defaced by vandals.

She said: “Mecca has been here for 40 years. We take pride in our building and graffiti spoils it for us and our visitors. It is an issue for us as we do feel targeted.

“The Sheffield BID team have been really supportive and discussed various options open to us to try to tackle the problem – not just cleaning up current graffiti but by taking measures to make it harder to damage our walls and with ways to try catch the culprits.”

The BID’s spring clean will run alongside the planned annual deep clean of the city centre streets by the council’s Streets Ahead programme.

It forms part of a wider project to tackle graffiti and litter across the whole the city.

The BID now employs a crime reduction officer to support affected businesses to review CCTV cameras, security lighting and signs.

The organisation is also considering running a young offenders’ intervention programme.

Landlords and tenants of private commercial properties in the city centre affected by graffiti, can add these to the BID Spring Clean schedule, free of charge, by emailing [email protected]