Graffiti hit squads

Steve Norris today outlined details of his proposals to tackle graffiti and ‘tagging’ as part of his ‘Safer London’ campaign, pledging to fund 25 anti graffiti vans with specially trained “hit squads” to clean off the most offensive and visible graffiti in the capital. The graffiti hit squads would target high profile sites where the owners have consistently refused to clean their buildings.

The initiative would cost £3 million per annum and would be funded by scrapping production of “The Londoner” –the Mayor’s own self -publicising newspaper. The extra resources would supplement existing public and private sector anti-graffiti programmes.

Steve said: “Tackling graffiti could make a huge difference to the city. Graffiti is what makes too much of London look dirty and feel unsafe. It also creates an atmosphere where crime can flourish by sending out a message that no one really cares about the area. In New York, Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the city and, as a result, created a much safer city - I intend to learn from New York to clean up London. As Mayor, I also want to use the hit squads to embarrass organisations – both public and private – who seem unwilling to remove graffiti from public places.”

Steve’s graffiti prevention plan also includes working with local authorities, residents associations and voluntary organisations to find innovative ways of reducing graffiti. This will include more effective use of CCTV, Neighbourhood Watch initiatives and extending anti-social behaviour orders as well as working with schools to highlight the consequences of graffiti in the community.

As Mayor, Steve has also pledged to double the number of youth and sports centres in every London borough, in order to provide teenagers with something to do in some of the most problematic areas.


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