1. ITV Report

Fighting graffiti with graffiti

River Exe bridge graffiti Photo: ITV West Country

A group of urban artists is helping to reduce the amount of unwanted and unsightly graffiti in Exeter by creating their own unique piece of public artwork.

They've been commissioned by Devon County Council to decorate subways and bridges at one of the main gateways into the city centre - the River Exe Bridges.

Local graffiti artist Jeff Evans is being joined by 35 others this weekend and they've been given the freedom to do just about whatever they want with the space on the walls. They're using a range of materials and styles from the traditional spray can to stencils and rollers. All of the artists are providing their time and materials free of charge.

In the past the walls have been regularly covered with unsightly tagging and obscenities which have to be removed or painted over by the council at a cost of around ten thousand pounds a year.

We spend a lot of money keeping structures clean of graffiti and we have found that by adding artwork such as that seen at the subways near Renslade House and Alphington the cost to the local tax payer is dramatically reduced. Our hope is that this will reduce the amount of unwanted, anti-social tagging and obscenities that occur at this location at present. Additionally, we feel the end result will provide a much more attractive environment for these busy community cycleways and footpaths.**

– Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council