Conservative candidate in Hove by-election calls for graffiti crackdown

Posted On 11 Dec 2011 at 8:19 pm

The Conservative candidate in the Westbourne by-election has called for a crackdown on graffiti.

Graham Cox, who hopes to win a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council in by-election, said that he had been talking to residents about graffiti blighting the area’s streets.

He said that his experience as a senior police officer showed that the best results came from addressing the issue as soon as it happened.

He said that he embraced what is known as the “broken windows theory”.

It was set out by social scientists James Q Wilson and George L Kelling in 1982 in an article entitled Broken Windows.

The article said: “Consider a building with a few broken windows.

“If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows.

“Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.”

Graham said: “My experience as a police officer tells me that if you fail to get on top of the problem of graffiti right away more and more will appear.

“We need to be relentless in cleaning up these unsightly graffiti tags — they’re certainly not Banksy!

“As well as keeping the streets looking better, it will cost the council – and residents – less in the long run.”

The by-election takes place a week on Thursday (22 December).

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