Action group formed to tackle graffiti tagging in Brighton and Hove

ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins reports on the effort to tackle graffiti in Brighton and Hove

A group of concerned Brighton & Hove people have joined forces to combat atagging problem that is blighting homes, shops, public buildings and evenhistoric landmarks in the city.Business & Residents Against Tagging , or BRAT as they are known, have set up a website that allows people to report tags and taggers and upload photographs.

BRAT will use the evidence to help the police take action against individuals. It will also support and lobby the council to clean up unwanted graffiti and monitor hotspots.

BRAT provides advice and tips for homeowners and small businesses to avoid and remove tagging.

Simon Hemelryk from BRAT says, "If someone doesn’t want it on their wall and it’s not been commissioned then it shouldn't be there."

In recent years, the council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds removing offensive tagging or graffiti which has been written on publicly owned buildings and street furniture.

Last year 'Targeted Action Zones' were launched in different parts of the city, where cleaning teams would concentrate on high-footfall areas. Community Protection Warnings and Notices were issued to help tackle graffiti on commercially owned buildings. But BRAT believes the current approach isn't working.

Brighton and Hove Council's new administration says it’s, “reviewing the council’s policy on graffiti management with immediate effect."

"Keen to make a fresh start in terms of looking at new ways of tackling tagging in the city."

Sussex Police say they support the council’s targeted action and say they work closely with partners in the community to share information and highlight repeat offenders who can be pursued and brought to justice.

A BRAT spokesperson says:

“Unauthorised graffiti and tagging are making our city look dirty and neglectedto locals and visitors

"Our aim is not to remove the beautiful, commissioned street art for which Brighton is rightly famous. It is to help the authorities to finally clamp down on the illegal vandalism that is causing millions of pounds of damage to homes and business, and isundermining the civic pride and standard of living of residents.”For more information or to report graffiti and tagging, anonymously, click here.

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