Aiming high to reduce graffiti

Merton is streets ahead of graffiti taggers in the Borough as the most targetted roads will be getting new street nameplates installed and reposition at a higher level, to prevent further vandalism.

A large number of roads have been identified that have suffered from ongoing attacks of graffiti on the streets nameplates. In these roads new nameplates will be installed at a higher level to make them less vulnerable to graffiti damage.

The new nameplates will be fabricated and installed towards the end of March. If this initiative is successful in reducing the instances of graffiti on the nameplates it will be expanded to other areas, as the funds become available.

The graffiti vandals often use ‘tags’ to graffiti on the street signs. Merton Council has already been tackling this type of anti social behaviour by publishing photos of the tags in the local newspaper and encouraging residents to identify the culprit.

The Council also encouraged 28 retailers to sign up voluntarily to the SWAAG intiative – South West Action Against Graffiti. It is not currently illegal to sell spray paints to under 18’s and as a result it is easy for youths to get hold of it to use for the purpose of graffiti. Under the SWAAG initiative retailers have agreed to only sell spray paint to over 18’s and will require valid ID. Several retailers in the borough even decided to stop selling spray paints all together. Merton Council has joined forces with 11 local authorities in southwest London to crack down on graffiti vandals through the SWAAG initiative.

Councillor Linda Kirby, Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “Graffiti is an offensive sight in our borough and the Council will continue to fight back against it. This initiative is another excellent step in the right direction towards the prevention of this environmental crime.

Merton aims to remove graffiti from Council property within five days and offensive or racist graffiti from anywhere in the borough within 48 hours. Contact Merton’s Graffiti Officer to report graffiti or to join in a community clean up, on 020 8545 4109 or e-mail