Increasing graffiti in Bideford prompts call from Torridge District Council and Police to use designated sites or risk fines!
Although not to everyone's taste, street art and graffiti can be visually stunning, and Torridge is home to a number of extremely talented artists who use the designated spaces to create impressive and meaningful works of art. However, Bideford has recently seen a significant increase in illegal graffiti and tags appearing on various walls and buildings throughout the town.
The current spate of graffiti is being painted without permission and has been causing damage to both public and private properties. There is concern amongst council officers and the Police that this is having a detrimental impact on the community and property owners and is visually unsightly, impacting on how the area is seen by tourists and residents alike. The cost of removal can also be significant and both the council and the police are keen to work with the graffiti artist community to promote the tolerated sites and other forms of artistic expression that are both legal and safe.
In Bideford, there are two designated locations where graffiti is permitted. The sites include two walls near the motorhome section of Riverbank long stay car park, which is located next to the river, with the other site located within the Skate Park on Kingsley Road. Graffitiing in other areas including private properties is considered criminal damage and if caught engaging in such activities, the person may face legal action and a fine of up to £1000.
Councillor Philip Hackett, Lead Member of Public Health and Community Safety said:
"While permitted graffiti can add cultural value to an area, it's important to note that illegal graffiti and tagging can be a significant challenge in terms of the potential negative impact and costs to clean up. The removal of such graffiti requires valuable officer time and tax payer money, which can put additional pressure on already stretched resources and finances at the council. Additionally, graffiti can obscure important signs, warnings, and symbols that are essential for public safety, potentially increasing the risk of accidents. To address this issue, we encourage individuals to report any illegal graffiti by contacting the police via the 101 number or by visiting the Devon and Cornwall Police website at, www.devon-cornwall.police.uk."