Council on mission to clean up graffiti

By Evelina Mezennaja

Graffiti artists have been playing around Colchester streets covering the town with alternative art and messages, angering the council and local community.

The local residents were surprised with yellow hearts sprayed all over the town centre on Valentine’s Day, but the council staff quickly cleaned it up.

A statement on Colchester Borough Council’s Twitter page made clear that graffiti – even if a declaration of love for someone – would not be tolerated and the police was already tracing the ‘artist’.

It stated: “Love may be in the air, but we’re not enamoured by this graffiti in West Stockwell Street.”

Just last night a graffiti enthusiastic also sprayed a hatred message on a wall near a retirement complex in Mersea Road putting away all the efforts the community has made to keep a clean and safe neighbourhood.

The UK currently spends £1bn on graffiti removal each year instead of trying to find other solutions.

The real question is whether graffiti symbolises a neighbourhood in decline or if it should be seen as a form of expression and a new way of art. For city councils graffiti is still seen as an act of vandalism, but if handled differently could have a major effect on cities.

Colchester council declined to comment further.