Why Does Graffiti Have A Bad Reputation? 

Friday 26th March 2021

Sophie Rioch

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CONTENTS

Graffiti has become a common sight throughout the UK. Yet, it is still heavily regarded as a negative pastime within society.

Over the years, graffiti has been used in a variety of ways. Though graffiti is illegal in the UK, the term ‘street art’ has become much more acceptable. According to Wide Walls, street art can be considered the greatest phenomenon in the history of art itself.

Graffiti’s bad reputation hasn’t evolved from from the public’s opposition to art, but rather its association with hate crime.

Freedom of speech has allowed for individuals and groups to express their political and social standpoints in a visual form. However, many have taken advantage of this and used the space to create offensive displays.

The history of graffiti

The first examples of what we consider to be graffiti can be seen in the remains of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece and even Ancient Egypt. Of course, these were the days before spray paint, so a completely different set of tools would have been used to create the displays. Historians believe that the earliest forms of graffiti appeared as carvings.

Modern-day graffiti migrated to Britain in the late 1980s, during the peak of hip hop and electro music. As a result, graffiti soon became associated with pop culture.

A group known as DryBread7 came about as one of the UK’s earliest graffiti artist groups, encouraging the entire nation to get involved. It was from DryBread7 that Banksy emerged. Many would agree that Banksy is one of the most recognised graffiti artists in the world.

The new trend saw the British public taking to the streets with marker pens and spray cans to write positive messages. By the 1990s, custom-made spray paint was booming. Stencils and stickers also came into play, allowing for easier graffiti painting.

However, the rise of easy-to-use graffiti tools made it simple for vandals to get in and out quickly without getting caught by the police. This remains a major problem in today’s society.

Graffiti became somewhat accepted as a credible form of art in the early 2000s (Graff-city). From prestigious art collectors to working-class civilians, many reached out to street artists to complete commissioned pieces for them.

This led graffiti to become a legitimate means of earning money. In some cases, artists even dropped their tags and began creating art using their real names in an attempt to build a professional reputation.

Fast forward to the current decade, graffiti is still viewed as a nuisance by many people across the world. If performed without the property owner’s consent, graffiti is regarded a punishable crime. Legal penalties in the UK span from hefty fines to prison sentences.

How graffiti can harm your community

Graffiti’s bad reputation can harm your local community in a number of ways.

Having developed negative undertones with gang culture and hate crime, the appearance of graffiti alone can be enough to instil fear into your neighbourhood. In a bid to gain power and control, gangs may resort to intimidation tactics, making it stressful for innocent residents.

The appearance of graffiti can also be damaging for local businesses. An attack on your physical storefront can be expensive to remove, but must be dealt with as quickly as possible to avoid further consequences.

A graffiti-damaged building may deter potential customers from entering your shop or restaurant. This may not seem like a major concern in the short run, but over time the lost sales will begin to accumulate, causing cash flow problems.

The defacement of businesses and public spaces will inevitably lead to the devaluation of property in the area. Once your area has been established as an undesirable place to live, it can be incredibly difficult to recover.

To prevent your community from entering a downhill slope, any graffiti attacks must be dealt with in a professional, orderly fashion. Timing is everything.

When to call the experts

In the event of a graffiti attack, you should contact a professional remediation team as soon as possible. The sooner the graffiti is seen to, the easier it will be to remove.

The main benefit of hiring an established graffiti removal company is that they’ll have access to specialist equipment and tools. Whilst you can attempt to remove the graffiti yourself, you run the risk of causing further damage to the affected surfaces.

Failure to act quickly can be detrimental to your community, so don’t delay.

Get in touch

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer a reliable graffiti cleaning service for commercial and domestic customers across the UK.

Using eco-friendly, non-toxic products, our technicians can effectively remove graffiti from brick, stone and concrete surfaces. Our removal technique is non-abrasive, meaning no further damage will be caused.

To find out more, give us a call on 0208 066 0360 today or email us on enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk and a member of staff will get back to you within 24 hours.

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