Crackdown after city streets targeted by graffiti vandals

A building in Botley Road is tagged

A building in Botley Road is tagged

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A GRAFFITI blitz has taken over the city, with vandalism up by almost 30 per cent on the same period for last year.

Hot spots for illegal street art have been picked out, including Botley Road, Abingdon Road and North Oxford.

Three arrests have been made and police claim they are cracking down on the daubings by collecting a gallery of commonly used “tags”.

Insp Andrew Thompson, the neighbourhood inspector for the city centre, has said that together with Oxford City Council they will seek compensation from anyone found to be responsible for the street art.

He said this could leave some prolific artists having to pay back thousands of pounds.

Insp Thompson said: “We have had reports of an increase in the amount of graffiti in areas such as Botley Road, Abingdon Road and in North Oxford.

Oxford Mail:

A phone box door off Abingdon Road

“It has been fairly indiscriminate.

“In response to that we have been working to get that removed and identify the people who have been doing it. You are talking about tens of thousands of pounds of damage to public buildings and bus stops but also to people’s homes and businesses.

“We are looking to seek compensation orders as well as civil claims from those who are found responsible. It is not just criminal convictions we are looking for.”

Figures from Oxford City Council show that in the last two months 303 incidents of graffiti were removed, while in the same two months last year the figure was 237.

Oxford Mail:

Inspector Andy Thompson

Insp Thompson said Thames Valley Police is working with the city council to put together a record of the tags and images found across Oxford to help them catch the street artists responsible.

He said the force is also working with other bodies such as the city council to draw up an action plan to get any graffiti removed from private and public property.

InspThompson said it costs in the region of £125 to clean one graffiti tag.

In response to Thames Valley Police’s crackdown, three people have been arrested.

Oxford Mail:

A container in Osney Court, off Botley Road

One, Charlie Silver, 23, of no fixed abode, has been charged with criminal damage and will appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on July 28.

He was arrested in connection with the graffiti which appeared on the Clarendon Centre in March.

Another person was arrested on June 5 and has been bailed until July 10 while another male who was arrested in the early hours of Thursday.

City council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “We do not believe the graffiti situation in our city has got worse of late. However, there are often sporadic increases in the amounts of graffiti incidences over the course of a year.

Oxford Mail:

A building at The Queen’s College Sports Ground, Abingdon Road

“We have invested in a dedicated team and specialised graffiti removal vehicle to improve the service we offer and we offer many ways for members of the public to report graffiti, including our online channel found at oxford.gov.uk/graffiti.”

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Comments (4)

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3:56pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Graceful23456666 says...

Maybe the police force should focus on the increasingly worrying amount of sex offences that are happening in oxford. And create places and facility's for people to do street art and express there talents through this form. There are many other city's that see graffiti as art not vandalism such as Bristol and Brighton. If there was the option of graffiti artists to work with charities, clubs and businesses to create large mural or landscape pieces then anti social behaviour and further graffiti will be stopped or reduced. An excellent example of this is the project in Kensington street in Brighton. This project was completed in 2006 and still proves successful at reducing anti social behaviour and attracts attention from residents and tourists. We should give people the option to celebrate street art.
Maybe the police force should focus on the increasingly worrying amount of sex offences that are happening in oxford. And create places and facility's for people to do street art and express there talents through this form. There are many other city's that see graffiti as art not vandalism such as Bristol and Brighton. If there was the option of graffiti artists to work with charities, clubs and businesses to create large mural or landscape pieces then anti social behaviour and further graffiti will be stopped or reduced. An excellent example of this is the project in Kensington street in Brighton. This project was completed in 2006 and still proves successful at reducing anti social behaviour and attracts attention from residents and tourists. We should give people the option to celebrate street art. Graceful23456666
  • Score: -5

4:55pm Tue 17 Jun 14

John Lamb says...

Big difference between street art and tagging.
I hope they sentencee Mr Silver to hand-scrub the graffiti off every day for a year..or two.
Big difference between street art and tagging. I hope they sentencee Mr Silver to hand-scrub the graffiti off every day for a year..or two. John Lamb
  • Score: 5

5:04pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Graceful23456666 says...

If there were facilities then street artists wouldn't have to quickly scribble a tag and run out of fear of being caught. Then they can express what they want freely. I think older generations in particular need to be more open minded about the youth of today
If there were facilities then street artists wouldn't have to quickly scribble a tag and run out of fear of being caught. Then they can express what they want freely. I think older generations in particular need to be more open minded about the youth of today Graceful23456666
  • Score: -4

7:37pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Graceful23456666 wrote:
Maybe the police force should focus on the increasingly worrying amount of sex offences that are happening in oxford. And create places and facility's for people to do street art and express there talents through this form. There are many other city's that see graffiti as art not vandalism such as Bristol and Brighton. If there was the option of graffiti artists to work with charities, clubs and businesses to create large mural or landscape pieces then anti social behaviour and further graffiti will be stopped or reduced. An excellent example of this is the project in Kensington street in Brighton. This project was completed in 2006 and still proves successful at reducing anti social behaviour and attracts attention from residents and tourists. We should give people the option to celebrate street art.
I'm guessing by the pitiful quality of your Grammar, that you're one of the illiterate individuals that feel the need to scribble on other people's property?
I don't see street art as vandalism, if it's done in approved places, some of the stuff I've seen is excellent, but scribbling a tag isn't street art, it's vandalism.
Give a blind chimp a paintbrush, and it would be able to recreate most of the tags around Oxford.
If people feel the need to express themselves freely, they can write books, films, songs, poems, even blogs........but, in order to do that, they need intelligence, something that those spraying tags around Oxford lack.
[quote][p][bold]Graceful23456666[/bold] wrote: Maybe the police force should focus on the increasingly worrying amount of sex offences that are happening in oxford. And create places and facility's for people to do street art and express there talents through this form. There are many other city's that see graffiti as art not vandalism such as Bristol and Brighton. If there was the option of graffiti artists to work with charities, clubs and businesses to create large mural or landscape pieces then anti social behaviour and further graffiti will be stopped or reduced. An excellent example of this is the project in Kensington street in Brighton. This project was completed in 2006 and still proves successful at reducing anti social behaviour and attracts attention from residents and tourists. We should give people the option to celebrate street art.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing by the pitiful quality of your Grammar, that you're one of the illiterate individuals that feel the need to scribble on other people's property? I don't see street art as vandalism, if it's done in approved places, some of the stuff I've seen is excellent, but scribbling a tag isn't street art, it's vandalism. Give a blind chimp a paintbrush, and it would be able to recreate most of the tags around Oxford. If people feel the need to express themselves freely, they can write books, films, songs, poems, even blogs........but, in order to do that, they need intelligence, something that those spraying tags around Oxford lack. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

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