Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How is the graffiti situation?

This time last year Coleridge Conservatives were reporting endless graffiti around the ward and elsewhere in the city. It had reached levels where anything that could be scrawled on was and the city was beginning to look shabby.

It does feel as if there is a lot less this year, even though there is still plenty appearing, and being reported on FixMyStreet by members of the public. What do you think? Let us know whether you think the problem is improving using the poll on our blog.

In general crime and antisocial behaviour are purported to have been kept down due to the cold weather so this may be the underlying explanation. It would be interesting to see an analysis of council or fixmystreet reports queried from their databases.

I had an interesting chat with a city council employee who was cleaning off graffiti from the Langham Road sign this morning. Unfortunately council rules prevented him from consenting to me taking a picture of him at work, which I thought would have made an interesting illustration, so we are stuck with a picture of the vehicle used instead!

Thanks to the employee for the good work and for suggesting I remind people to get in touch with the city council with any more reports. I use the FixMyStreet website so people can see what else has been reported and track problems - unfortunately the city council does not seem to submit updates - it would be great if they could integrate such a feature into their workflow system!


Equinox said...

Perfectly reasonable statement from the council worker - good on him. You'll find that us civil servants and local government workers guard our neutrality like hawks over their eggs.

On the "public administration" issue, have you asked the local authorities concerned how they can align their systems with the tools provided by "My Society"? -

Also, regarding tackling graffiti and other "bad stuff" happening in our neighbourhood, what do you think of the approach of Oldham MBC's "neighbourhood agreements" at and the approach they used? Is it something we could learn from?

Richard Taylor said...

I think there is a lot of graffiti in the city, at least as much as a year ago.

The city council does appear to be pretty good at removing it quite quickly now.

I've seen graffiti reported by me and others removed within a couple of days recently where as last year even offensive graffiti was left for months.

One trend I'm seeing in the city though is graffiti high up (on walls apparently accessed by standing on the roofs of buildings); this appears to generally stay for a long time.

Andrew Bower said...

Hello Equinox, just on your first point for now, I do not think that me taking a picture from behind of the graffiti being cleaned, without any posing, would have drawn him into partiality, but it would have been interesting. I don't even think I should have needed consent but I asked as a courtesy and didn't want anyone to worry that they may be breaking their rules.

Equinox said...

I take your point Andrew - from a "work" perspective it's something that public sector workers in general are cautious about - irrespective of the political party concerned. It's even more so with a hotly contested general election looming. (It's nice that you asked out of courtesy though).

Coming back to the graffiti issue in general, what have the police/local PCSOs said about it? Are we talking random acts by opportunists who do it as a "one off" or a small hardcore of repeat offenders? What work is being done on the prevention side? (Are all the agencies responsible working together to tackle it?)