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Conservative backs tough action on graffiti louts

Wednesday 25th July 2007 (Andrew Griffiths)
Conservative backs tough action on graffiti louts

Andrew Griffiths, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Burton and Uttoxeter gave his backing to plans that would see people who commit acts of graffiti being required to clean up after themselves.

The Criminal Damage (Graffiti) Bill, presented to Parliament by Conservatives today would make it compulsory for people caught creating graffiti to clean it up and meet the victim whose property they have vandalised.

An offender would be issued with a ‘clean-up’ order requiring them to come back to the site, or a similar site, and clean up the mess they’ve made.

In March 2000, the then Home Secretary Jack Straw stated that vandalism and graffiti cost Britain more than £1 billion per year, which may still underestimate the true impact. The financial cost of graffiti is illustrated by:

On the rail network graffiti is the most common form of vandalism and train companies regularly report £1 million-plus budgets

Andrew Griffiths said:

“Graffiti is an eye-sore and a terrible blight across Burton and Uttoxeter. Some people call the perpetrators “graffiti artists”, but the fact is it’s criminal damage, and affects everyone in the community.

“East Staffs Council does an excellent job with the resources they have cleaning off as much graffiti as it can as quickly as possible. But graffiti shouldn’t be appearing in the first place – we need offenders to realise the impact their behaviour has on the community so that they stop vandalising the area altogether.

Andrew explained:

“I am convinced that by making offenders clean up their mess they will soon realise the true cost of what they’ve done. Graffiti is more than just a bit of a nuisance; it causes people to worry about leaving their own homes and fear for their personal safety. This Bill will tackle the problem in a way that benefits victims and communities while punishing the perpetrators in a grown-up and positive way.

“I met today with James Duddridge, the MP presenting the Bill, and I think it is a brilliant idea which should have support from MPs from all the Political Parties.

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