Graffiti fines increased to £500 in Brighton council crackdown

WATCH: ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw reports on the efforts to clean up illegal graffiti

Fines issued to those responsible for unauthorised graffiti are set to increase to £500 in Brighton and Hove, as part of a new crackdown by the city council.

The penalties will rise from £150 next month, after the change was approved by councillors this week. The measure is aimed at targeting “unsightly” tagging, rather than approved street art murals.

Chair of the environment committee, Cllr Tim Rowkins (Lab), told ITV News Meridian: “We have an amazing, vibrant street art and graffiti art culture here in Brighton and Hove. That’s something people are very fond of.

“But we also have a very big problem with tagging, which is basically graffiti on a wall without permission and it’s criminal damage and we’re focussing very hard on that.”

Council enforcement officers issued 15 fixed penalty notices to offenders in the last six months, compared to five in the same period last year.

Councillors say they’re targeting "tagging" rather than authorised street art.

Teams of volunteers took part in a ‘City Centre Big Clean’ event on Saturday, 25 November, which involved painting over graffiti tags, removing unauthorised stickers and posters and clearing rubbish.

The event focussed on cleaning up the area around Brighton Railway Station, as well as Queens Road, West Street, New Road, Jubilee Street and St James Street.

The Leader of Brighton & Hove Council, Cllr Bella Sankey (Lab), said cleaning up the city was her “number-one priority” because residents had told her “they want to feel pride in the place they live and they don’t anymore”.

Cllr Sankey added: “We’re also trying to send a message out to the rest of our region: Brighton and Hove is back in business. We want you to come and visit, we want to ensure our city looks beautiful again so you can really enjoy your time here.”

A public consultation on the council’s new graffiti strategy opened this week. It is open for seven weeks until 9 January 2024.

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