Improve ways to report graffiti

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The former NatWest building in St Dunstan's is covered in graffiti

Canterbury City Council is striving to improve the ways people can report instances of graffiti.

The authority believes that too many reports sent to it fall outside its notification system and wants to ensure that more vandalism is identified and dealt with.

A report will go before the council’s Canterbury Area Member Panel (CAMP) when it meets on Monday.

It says that if private property owners sign a waiver, they can agree for the council’s cleaning contractor Serco to remove offensive graffiti.

Vandalism has long been regarded as one of the most significant visual blights on the district.

The report going before CAMP states: “If there is a report of offensive graffiti on public facing structures then the contractor will remove it, but they still require a signed waiver for privately owned structures.

“The timescale set in the contract for the removal of offensive graffiti is that Serco need to take action to start the removal within two hours.

“More and more cases however fall outside this scope and are reported to the council through other channels such as emails to enforcement officers and through the anti-social behaviour complaint form on our website.

“There is currently no defined team nor resource within the council to investigate cases reported which fall outside the scope of the waste and street cleansing contract.”

However, the council’s community chairman Neil Baker has questioned whether a waiver system for private owners works.

He said: “The problem with the waiver system is what if the property owner refuses to sign it?

“Should we act against them, with potential legal action and all? That seems unreasonable given they didn’t add the graffiti.”

The Canterbury Area Member Panel meets in the Guildhall at 7pm on Monday.

1 COMMENT

  1. This seems like far too little and too late. Offensive graffiti is only a small part of the graffiti problem in our City.

    Our subways are covered in graffiti, some of it literally years old. Almost every litter bin in our public parks is graffitied. So are lampposts, telephone exchange cabinets, walls and fences, many of which are Council owned.

    For example Lib Dem Cllrs have been asking for graffiti to be removed from public places for years only to be told there is no money or it can’t be done or it’s someone else’s responsibility. Just get on and do it.

    If some of these belong to other agencies then contact them for blanket permission to remove graffiti and ensure we have a city we can be proud of.

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