Graffiti in its many forms can have both positive and negative impact on a community. We all dream of waking one morning to discover an overnight visit from Banksy to create a masterpiece on our garage wall.
In truth there is a world of difference between some of the brilliant street art produced to brighten and help identify communities in towns and cities around the world and what many consider to be mindless ‘tagging’ which can blight those very same communities.
Graffiti affects everyone. It is costly to remove, and studies show communities with high vandalism crime are prone to other crimes including theft and assault. So, there are lots of benefits to getting a community together for graffiti removal.
Communities with a strong anti-graffiti program have less crime and vandalism strengthening community relationships, and overall enjoyment of a clean and safe place to live! As part of the Stronger North Stonehouse project community company Cliik will be taking a two-pronged approach to dealing with the issue.
Not only are Cliik focussing on cleaning up graffiti they are using a tried and tested method to reduce reoffending by replacing them with murals. Matt Pontin, from Cliik, told the Journal: “We’re delighted to be a partner on the Safer Streets programme and specifically will be supporting the development of the Stronger North Stonehouse ambition, including better connecting agencies with concerns and enhancing resident access to information across the community.”
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Working in partnership is a positive approach in any community and Cliik is hoping to harness a growing culture of artists and young people who are simply bursting with expression.
Developing strong community clean-up programs, providing education on the negative effects of graffiti to youth, and encouraging positive uplifting murals for walls constantly vandalised by graffiti all contribute to healthy clean communities.
Matt Pontin continued: “We continue to signpost people to opportunities, and we plan to utilise The Talk Shop, in Wyndham Place, as a space to let people know more about how they can help make changes to make things safer.
“At the moment we’re also focused on working on graffiti clean-up and commissioning new murals, we’ve made a start with artists Camilla and Joe completing the first at Patna Park.
“But in the new year we’ll be working with the other Stronger North Stonehouse partners, to improve signage and way-marking through the neighbourhood, and we are always looking for suggestions and volunteers so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on FB and Instagram.”