THOUSANDS SPENT ON GRAFFITI CLEAN-UP
FIGURES REVEAL HILLINGDON SPENT MORE THAN £200K CLEARING UP AFTER VANDALS ACROSS THE BOROUGH
COUNCILS in west London spent nearly £1m cleaning up graffiti last year, it has been revealed.
Figures released under Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation highlight the true cost of graffiti to London’s local authorities.
Of the 17 London boroughs that replied to the FoI request, Hillingdon Council spent the most of any London authority cleaning up after vandals – a staggering £225,480.
This was not only the highest figure in London, but the second highest in the country.
Furthermore, the top four boroughs that responded were all in west London, spending a combined total of £836,480 – rising to more than £900,000 for the whole of west London.
The average spend per London borough was £95,510.55 last year, meaning if all boroughs had replied, London would have spend more than £2.7m on cleaning up after vandals.
The information was obtained by Vinyl Revolution covering the period June 30, 2016, through July 1, 2017. Seventeen out of London’s 29 boroughs replied.
Vinyl Revolution managing director Benjamin Gibert said: “With these kinds of figures, it’s clear graffiti still has a great presence in London.
“Many boroughs are dedicating a substantial amount of their annual budget to clearing public spaces of vandalism.
“For many, this is an important issue, and they see graffiti as an unseemly and unwelcome sight within public spaces.
“However it’s clear to see that there are also many who enjoy graffiti and welcome it as an individualistic and unique way to give voice to the people.”
Hillingdon Council says it has a zero tolerance approach to graffiti, and would rather not clean up any at all.
“We take a zero tolerance approach to graffiti and have teams out pro-actively inspecting the borough and removing graffiti on a daily basis,” said a spokesman.
“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to spend any money on graffiti removal. However, it is a necessary investment to ensure our neighbourhoods are clean for residents.
“The cost quoted for cleaning graffiti also includes some general cleaning, such as chewing gum removal, bin cleaning and power washing.”
A council spokesperson for Ealing said their residents had a right to clean streets, and they aim to remove 90% of graffiti within two days.
“Residents rightly expect their local neighbourhood to be clean and free of vandalism which is why the council invests significantly in pro-actively and rapidly responding to reports of graffiti.
“We provide a free graffiti and flypost removal service for all councilowned, commercial and residential property and aim to remove 90% of all reported graffiti within two working days.
“Ealing is one of the largest boroughs in London and we remain committed to ensuring that unsightly graffiti is tackled wherever it is encountered.
“We encourage residents to help us by reporting vandalism where they see it.”