Falmouth Town Council is drawing a line against graffiti as part of its Safer, Cleaner, Greener public information campaign. irresponsible flyposting not only deface property and undermine Falmouth’s reputation as a creative hub, but also waste valuable resources that could be better invested in the local community.
The council is a huge supporter of the visual arts, with a legacy stretching from JMW Turner and Henry Scott Tuke through to the edgy experimentation of Falmouth University students and the contemporary artists that the town’s award-winning art gallery regularly showcases.
But its message for August is that mindless graffiti and irresponsible flyposting not only deface property and undermine Falmouth’s reputation as a creative hub, but also waste valuable resources that could be better invested in the local community.
Graffiti is defined as drawings, patterns, scribbles or messages painted, written or carved on walls and other surfaces. If left untouched, it often encourages more graffiti, the dumping of unwanted items and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
Flyposting is the unauthorised placing of promotional posters, stickers and signs, usually for the advertising of events.
Both graffiti and flyposting are criminal offences that carry large fines either via a magistrate or by fixed penalty notices issued by the local authority or police.
Cornwall Council is responsible for removing graffiti and flyposting from public buildings, street furniture or monuments, but it cannot, under normal circumstances, remove it from households and other private property.
If the content of the graffiti is deemed to be offensive, however, Cornwall Council does have the power to issue a 'defacement removal notice' to a property owner, which requires them to remove the graffiti or flyposting within 28 days. If they fail to do so, Cornwall Council undertakes its removal at the expense of the property owner.
If public facilities such as telephone boxes, bus shelters and telecom or electricity boxes are defaced by graffiti or flyposting, it is the responsibility of the company that owns those facilities to remove it.
So how can you help?
• Place trellis or growing climbing plants on walls to create an uneven surface. This deters vandals, as graffiti would not be clearly visible
• Paint walls in muted colours such as brick red, brown or grey. Vandals are less likely to deface property if graffiti will not stand out
• Paint walls with egg-shell emulsion or polyurethane gloss to make them easier to clean
• Review your security arrangements. Nightlights, locks, fences and CCTV can all deter vandals from accessing your property
• Remove graffiti as soon as possible to deter a second strike
• Check out Cornwall Council’s website for further tips
• If you witness anyone in the act of defacing a property with graffiti or flyposting, please report it using the details below, or inform the police.
Who to contact:
Please report graffiti to Cornwall Council’s Environmental Protection team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, phoning 0300 1234 212 or online at cornwall.gov.uk/report-it. Report flyposting to Cornwall Council’s Environmental Management team by emailing email@example.com or calling 0300 1234 202.