How Does Graffiti Affect The Community?

Monday 8th March 2021

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Graffiti in alleyway

CONTENTS

How does graffiti affect the community?

From London's street art epicentre of Shoreditch, to the small West Yorkshire town of Pntefract, the graffiti scene is flouroshing with coronavirus-themed masterpieces. - Evening Standard

From our bustling capital to rural villages in Yorkshire, the graffiti scene has flourished during the pandemic. 

The Evening Standard revealed that coronavirus-themed masterpieces have become the new graffiti trend. ITV also reported the boom, describing it as a symbol of hope and unity for 2021. 

Whilst the recent displays have been accepted as a form of positivity during difficult times, graffiti has been a controversial topic for many decades. Some consider it art; some view it as a crime. In the eyes of the law, graffiti is still illegal.

There is the wider community to take into account too. From environmental damage to large expenses, graffiti has the potential to make a significant impact. 

Environmental damage

Regardless of the positive messages, graffiti is still bad for the environment. 

The aerosol sprays used for graffiti emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes VOCs as common organic pollutants. According to Scientific American, these pollutants contribute to ozone levels. 

The cleaning substances used to remove the spray paint are often just as toxic as the graffiti. Though there are a number of eco-friendly products on the market, the majority of cleaning companies in the UK still use harsh, toxic chemicals.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint. We’re one of the few companies in the cleaning sector operating with solely biodegradable products. 

Financial impact

Did you know? Graffiti costs our capital over £100 minllion per year?

Did you know that graffiti costs our capital over £100 million every year?

According to the London Assembly, the cost of graffiti to the London economy each year exceeds £100 million, with over £23 million paid by London boroughs and transport companies. 

The cost of graffiti extends far beyond the removal process. In many cases, multiple efforts are required to remove all traces of paint from the affected surfaces, immediately doubling the figure. 

There is also the cost of further damage to consider. If removed without professional tools, the surface itself may need repairing. 

It’s better to be proactive than reactive. 

Whilst you cannot stop potential offenders from carrying out graffiti attacks, you can invest in an anti-graffiti coating to cover your surfaces. The initial cost of anti-graffiti paint will prove minor in comparison to the cost of remediation – plus, it will last for years. 

Bad for businesses

The threatening appearance of graffiti is enough to ruin the reputation of many businesses. 

Graffiti attacks are a threat to all types of businesses, particularly those that rely on a physical shopfront – for example, shops, restaurants and salons. As well as being costly to remove, graffiti may deter customers. 

The presence of graffiti can be interpreted as neglect by potential customers, creating a negative first impression. Once a business’ reputation has been tarnished, it can be hard to recover. 

What may start as a slight dip in sales can soon lead to serious cash flow problems. Without intervention, the firm may be forced out of business. 

Loss of sense of community

With a fall in respect for local businesses comes a loss of community pride.

It’s known that the appearance of graffiti often encourages further crime. Young adults and teenagers are easily influenced, and are therefore most at risk of turning to vandalism. 

To prevent youth crime, education is key. Discover the steps you can take to deter young people from vandalism in our blog: How To Prevent Graffiti In Schools

Without the right measures in place, it’s possible for graffiti attacks to get out of hand. 

Though somewhat normalised, the appearance of graffiti is dangerous in the sense that it can spark more severe forms of crime, such as stabbings or murders. As a result, crime levels will soar. 

If associated with a high level of crime, your area will become less desirable to not just businesses looking to relocate but also potential residents. House prices will soon fall due to lack of demand, pushing the entire community into a state of doubt. 

The cost of graffiti removal is a small price to pay in comparison to the long-term social and economic consequences. 

Graffiti removal 

When it comes to graffiti removal, the quicker the better. The longer the paint remains on the wall, the harder it will be to remove it when the time comes.

If attempting to remove the graffiti yourself, it’s important to be delicate. Be careful not to use harsh, corrosive chemicals (for example, bleach) which could stain the surface or cause further damage. 

Use of abrasive techniques may cause shadowing or permanent physical damage to the surface in the form of indentations. 

Professional removal services

For the best results, you should opt for a professional graffiti removal company to help you with the matter. A team of experts will have not only years of experience in the field, but also access to specialist tools and equipment. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we hold a 100% success rate on all graffiti removals. 

We use non-toxic, non-abrasive solutions to effectively remove all traces of graffiti from brick and stone surfaces. We promise to leave your site looking clean and spotless.

What’s more, as part of our commitment to a sustainable future, we use only eco-friendly products to carry out our services. 

Should you require it, we also offer an anti-graffiti coating. This can be applied after the removal has taken place. Our anti-graffiti layer aims to create a protective barrier which prevents new graffiti paint from sticking to the wall. 

To discuss our graffiti removal service with a member of our professional support team, call 0333 577 5805 today. 

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Lucie Mitchell

Lucie Mitchell

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