Grafitti hotline

25082008(005) Regular readers will know of the hard work by the Council's environmental crime unit to tackle graffiti vandalism in Kings Cross.  We have had one grafitti related death in the area and hundreds of tags removed.  The canal is now transformed thanks to the innovative Council/British Waterways grafitti destroyer.  Reporting graffiti through Contact Islington means that it does get dealt with and the Council doesn't charge for it (unlike Camden).  I have just been sent a link to the new grafitti hotline site which brings together news on grafitti issues, the law etc.  It's got a commercial angle but seems like a handy resource for people interested in tackling grafitti.

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Street Tipping, Mess, Trash. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Grafitti hotline

  1. Daniel Zylbersztajn says:

    Dear William,
    I don’t like tagging, but I am a fan of good graffiti. I invite you to read the graffiti bible called “Bomb The Suburbs” by Upski. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bomb-Suburbs-Graffiti-Freight-hopping-Search/dp/1933368551

    You will see that even the grafitti removal link you give, http://www.graffitihotline.co.uk/ talks about community based graffiti as something positive. just look at the graffiti art at the canal based pub near royal college road. Or the spray art on Chapel market, co-sponsered by local businesses. And even if not legal, proper graffiti can in deed be environment enhancing. Just look at the stuff that Bansky http://www.banksy.co.uk/ does. To the shame of Islington Council a real Bansky was removed from the corner of Pentonville Road / Amwell Street. It showed a boy spraying the wall with Graffiti Hotline 0800….
    Mow the red brick wall is all red brick wall again. How beautiful. Now I would not put my neck out the same way for tagging or for cheap graffiti quick fix graffiti, like the rather badly drawn figure of a head currently visible along the canal walk.

    In short I do believe there is plenty of space for lots of initiatives along the canal of proper community based projects on a number of dedicated walls, and at regular intervals at that.

    And I do appreciate that some of the risks that youth are taking, especially when painting walls alongside railway tracks are just not worth the risk taking. Again community based project help alleviating this problem. Of course there will always be some that no body can stop…

    NB. I am not part of the graffiti lobby or have ever sprayed myself, but just honestly appreciate some of the spray art…

  2. In regards to the comments above, there is a belief that properly organised legal graffiti art can have a positive effect. Unfortunately over the last few years the attitude in the graffiti world has changed. Whereas previously decent graffiti art would not be tagged over, this is no longer the case.

    I refute the comment that removing a “Banksy” piece was to the Shame of the Council. Islington Council listens to it’s residents and where appropriate will deal with issues raised. Just becuase graffiti might look nice to some, this does not mean it is appreciated by all. We have spent a lot of time and effort working on the canal in partnership with British Waterways and the improvemnt is clear to see.

    There are opporunities for art based initiatives along the canal but there are better applications than graffiti. For instance the work done in the greenspace off of the Caledonian Road using tile murals enhances the area.

    There is no evidence that using community based graffiti projects alleviates any form of illegal tagging. In fact there is a large amount of evidence to show that it does exactly the opposite.

    Islington Council will always take into account the wishes and opinions of local people when deciding how we deal with issues and it is important that we work with other agencies and groups in making the Borough Greener, Cleaner and Safer for all sections of the community.

    Leon Meredith
    Environmental Crime Manager
    Islington Council

  3. Rupert Perry says:

    Leon kindly removed some graffiti from the canal the other day, after a constituent was having problems getting a positive response from the Council. However, the graffiti destroyer boat was not used as this service only operates between February and October. Even when the boat is not operating, a quick response to graffiti will hopefully keep the taggers at bay.

  4. Daniel says:

    Dear Mt Meredith,
    your lecture puzzles me. as it happens I hold a Masters in contemporary urban studies from goldsmiths, in which one focus was marginalization by local authorities., so I studied the issue with some detail. I can not help but feeling strongly that your position leaves little for youth who are appreciative of graffiti culture.

    Banski is a world trade name, and the wall you refer to is as ugly as ever with its red simple bricks, it was interesting and caused a laugh to many with the Banki on, a world acclaimed artist, whose books are selling all around the world.

    Hip Hop Culture is a mainstream in contempory youth culture and grafitti art is part of that.

    Young people are part of society and their voices are often not heard when you refer to public consultations where all citizens are supposed to have a voice.

    I totally and utterly reject your version of graffiti equals criminality. The reality is far less severe. A little guidance and opportunity to promote that side of our young people and channel it into something meaningful to them, is far more desirable. When young people tag train line walls, they want to be known and seen and be “famous beyond their small miserable limit”

    So a well run scheme where young people get exposure with the cameras on and the art printed in local papers goes some way to take the young people where they like to be, legally.

    I am truly saddened that your response is that of a Labour borough, a party that claims to care for the young people in our country. Go and start hearing young people voices alongside those so eloquent adult voices and your opinion supposedly relying on democratic observations will tip into a more balanced vision.

  5. Daniel says:

    For reference:
    Banski and other famous graffiti recently featured on postmodernkid blog:

    http://postmodernkid.blogspot.com/2008/01/graffiti-kings-cross.html

    East London even has now graffiti walk tours
    making it an equal sightseeing icon alongside Jewish East End and Banglatown, see http://golondon.about.com/b/2008/06/06/london-graffiti-walks.htm

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